Date of this Version
A thesis presented to the faculty of the Graduate College at the University of Nebraska in partial fulfillment of requirements for the degree of Master of Science
Major: Civil Engineering
Under the supervision of Seunghee Kim
Lincoln, Nebraska, December 2023
Geological carbon storage (GCS) is a critical aspect of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in which captured CO2 from power plants and industrial processes is injected and stored securely underground. Potential subsurface rock formations include saline aquifers, depleted oil and gas reservoirs, unmineable coal seams and volcanic rocks. GCS technology has been proven in the United States and many other parts of the world as a net-zero carbon emission strategy to mitigate the current climate crisis of our planet. Unlike other states such as Wyoming, GCS projects are still in the early phases in Nebraska. The goal of this research is to support the development of GCS in Nebraska. Western Nebraska is the region of interest because of the high CO2 emissions from ethanol and public power plants. In addition, the proximity of stationary point sources for CO2 and the potential geological storage site would offset the huge cost of pipeline construction. To this end, a detailed study of rock properties of Pennsylvanian-Permian aged carbonate formation is necessary to delineate suitable reservoir units for underground CO2 storage in western Nebraska. This work aims to investigate subsurface stacked carbonates with respect to storage capacity and injectivity. The research objectives are carried out in several phases, including:(1) subsurface rock sample collections from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Core Research Center (CRC); (2) lithology description; (3) laboratory measurements of mechanical and petrophysical properties and (4) acid stimulation for permeability improvement. The findings from this work support the prospectivity for stacked storage of CO2 in both Garden and Cheyenne counties in western Nebraska.
Advisor: Seunghee Kim