Center for Nanoscale Controls on Geologic CO2

Mission Statement

To enhance the performance and predictability of subsurface storage systems by understanding the molecular and nanoscale origins of CO2 trapping processes, and developing computational tools to translate to larger-scale systems. This DOE Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) is a collaborative effort led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Ohio State University, Princeton University, Purdue University, Stanford University, and Washington University in St. Louis. This Center is one of thirty-two U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC).

The vision for the Center is to understand, predict, and enhance the performance of underground CO2 storage systems. Specific goals are to produce (1) a next-generation understanding of the nanoscale-to-mesoscale chemical-mechanical behavior of shale – a critical material for a low-carbon energy future, (2) quantitative models for the efficiency of reservoir capillary trapping and its effect on solution and mineral trapping, (3) methods to predict mineralogical trapping, and (4) theory, experimental data, and computational tools to allow nanoscale effects to be translated to mesoscale and continuum scale model equations and parameters.

The NCGC consists of a team of highly qualified investigators with expertise in, and access to, the most advanced analytical and computing facilities available for furthering fundamental knowledge of the geochemical aspects of geologic carbon storage, in particular the chemistry of mineral-fluid interfaces and fluid-fluid interfaces that control the physics of fluid flow and chemical reactions. Experimental investigations will transition from simplified analogue materials to more realistic geologic materials. Newly developed characterization and experimental approaches will be integrated with mesoscale chemical-mechanical-hydrologic modeling and simulation to achieve a transformational predictive capability for stratigraphic- and reservoir COtrapping efficiency and reliability.