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Abstract

The sequestration of CO2 in the deep geosphere is one potential method for reducing anthropogenic emissions to the atmosphere without a drastic change in our energy-producing technologies. Immediately after injection, the CO2 will be stored as a free phase within the host rock. Over time it will dissolve into the local formation water and initiate a variety of geochemical reactions. Some of these reactions could be beneficial, helping to chemically contain or ‘trap’ the CO2 as dissolved species and by the formation of new carbonate minerals; others may be deleterious, and actually aid the migration of CO2. It will be important to understand the overall impact of these competing processes. However, these processes will also be dependent upon the structure, mineralogy and hydrogeology of the specific lithologies concerned and the chemical stability of the engineered features (principally, the cement and steel components in the well completions). Therefore, individual storage operations will have to take account of local geological, fluid chemical and hydrogeological conditions. The aim of this paper is to review some of the possible chemical reactions that might occur once CO2 is injected underground, and to highlight their possible impacts on long-term CO2 storage.

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