LBNL is one of the main international research organizations addressing concerns about potential impact of deployment of CO2 geological storage on the nation’s groundwater resources. A significant body of our work has targeted the possible groundwater quality changes in response to leakage of CO2 from deep sequestration reservoirs if it were to occur. To better…
Historic uranium and vanadium milling activities at the Rifle Subsurface Biogeochemical Research site resulted in residual contamination of aquifer sediments and groundwater. Starting in 2002, research activities funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Biological and Environmental Research focused on stimulating the activity of subsurface microorganisms capable of converting uranium from a dissolved form to an insoluble mineral precipitate. Research performed under DOE’s Rifle Integrated Field Research Challenge (IFRC) program (which began in 2007) expanded this focus, to include greater emphasis on studying the metabolic pathways relevant to the cycling of carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, and aqueous metals—and of metalloids, such as iron, selenium, and arsenic. The research performed under the Rifle IFRC program (which ended in 2013) has proven foundational for ongoing scientific work associated with DOE Scientific Focus Area research programs.
The Scientific Environmental/energy Cross-cutting Underground Research (SECUREarth) is being formed to achieve timely solutions to critical national problems associated with the earth’s subsurface. The mission of SECUREarth is to ensure energy security and environmental protection by (1) improving our understanding of subsurface processes such as contaminants in the subsurface, exploring for and producing fossil fuels, enabling more effective use of geothermal energy resources, developing strategies for subsurface carbon sequestration; and (2) developing new energy resources (such as gas hydrates).
This RPSEA-funded project, with cost-share provided by BGI (Berkeley Geo Imaging) and Unico, began in October 2008, with the aim of quantifying whether seismic waves can mobilize oil trapped on capillary barriers, thus enhancing oil recovery in older low-production domestic oil fields. This study focused on a field owned by BGI near Foraker in Osage County, Oklahoma. There were two major components of the study: modeling and field tests.
SubTER: The subsurface provides more than 80 percent of the energy used in the US and serves as a vast reservoir for CO2, nuclear waste, and energy storage. Despite decades of research, game-changing advances are needed to revolutionize utilization of the subsurface for energy production and storage while also protecting the environment.
Intermediate-Scale Hydraulic Fracture and Stimulation Field Lab in a Deep Mine for Investigation of Fracturing and Induced Seismicity Permeability (k) and Induced Seismicity Management for Energy Technologies (kISMET) Objectives: Investigate relationship between fractures (natural and induced) and stress field, rock fabric, and stimulation approach to inform EGS stimulation. Investigate microseismicity arising from fracturing as analog…
This program was distinct from, but parallel to, the licensing effort at Yucca Mountain. The role of S&T was to advance technologies not previously considered, to identify new or substantially revised scientific methods or tools, thus providing a better understanding of the repository environment. The S&T program goals were to reduce cost, reduce uncertainty, enhance performance, develop new technologies, and overall greatly enhance the repository system, its performance, and its defensibility during and beyond the License Application defense.
Sim-SEQ was a multi-year U.S. Department of Energy initiative started in 2009 focused on comparing numerical models for GCS—with the objective of understanding and quantifying those uncertainties arising from conceptual model choices. It was a response to past GCS code verification and benchmarking efforts, in that it engaged in model comparison in a broader and comprehensive sense, allowing modelers the choice of interpretation of site characterization data, boundary conditions, rock and fluid properties, among other options.
LBNL was responsible for the site characterization studies aimed at understanding the barrier function of the Unsaturated Zone. During the period from 1997 through 2010, studies by Berkeley scientists focused on hydrological (seepage and transport) and thermal-hydrological-chemical coupled-process testing and modeling at Yucca Mountain’s Exploratory Studies Facility.
The Virtual Institute of Microbial Stress and Survival (VIMSS), based at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, supports an integrated and multi-institutional program to understand the ability of bacteria and other microorganisms to respond to and survive external stresses.