Storage of Carbon Dioxide in Saline Aquifers: Physicochemical Processes, Key Constraints, and Scale-Up Potential

Philip S. Ringrose, Anne-kari Furre, Stuart M.v. Gilfillan, Samuel Krevor, Martin Landrø, Rory Leslie, Tip Meckel, Bamshad Nazarian, Adeel Zahid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CO2 storage in saline aquifers offers a realistic means of achieving globally significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions at the scale of billions of tonnes per year. We review insights into the processes involved using well-documented industrial-scale projects, supported by a range of laboratory analyses, field studies, and flow simulations. The main topics we address are (a) the significant physicochemical processes, (b) the factors limiting CO2 storage capacity, and (c) the requirements for global scale-up.Although CO2 capture and storage (CCS) technology can be considered mature and proven, it requires significant and rapid scale-up to meet the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement. The projected growth in the number of CO2 injection wells required is significantly lower than the historic petroleum industry drill rates, indicating that decarbonization via CCS is a highly credible and affordable ambition for modern human society. Several technology developments are needed to reduce deployment costs and to stimulate widespread adoption of this technology, and these should focus on demonstration of long-term retention and safety of CO2 storage and development of smart ways of handling injection wells and pressure, cost-effective monitoring solutions, and deployment of CCS hubs with associated infrastructure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-494
JournalAnnual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Issue number1
Early online date19 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2021


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