Field-Deployable Gas Analyzer for MMV Applications
In response to recent evidence confirming that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are disturbing the natural carbon cycle and resulting in global warming, DOE has pioneered a Carbon Sequestration Program to capture and store CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions in geological sites. However, despite initial research that suggested leakage rates would be low, there have been no definite long-term studies. A recent review of carbon sequestration has identified monitoring, mitigation, and verification (MMV) as a critical component of future activities. MMV instrumentation must be highly sensitive (< 0.5 ppm CO2), capable of covering a broad area (> 15 square miles), and able to distinguish between leakage of stored CO2 and natural, biological CO2 fluctuations. This project will employ a patented Off-Axis Integrated Cavity Output Spectroscopy technology to develop a field-portable gas analyzer for carbon sequestration MMV applications. The instrument ¿ which will provide in-situ, highly accurate quantification of CO2 concentration (< 0.5 ppmv), isotope ratio (d13C < 1.0 ¿), and CH4 concentration, without calibration ¿ will be capable of monitoring surface leaks above geological formations and distinguishing between biogenic and injected carbon sources. Phase I fabricated a carbon isotope ratiometer that accurately measured d13C to better than 1.0 ¿ and CO2 concentration to better than 0.5 ppmv after only 100 seconds of measurement time. Moreover, the instrument maintained this high specification over a wide CO2 range (from 300 ¿ 6000 ppmv) . In Phase II, three complete gas analyzer systems ¿ capable of quantifying the carbon isotope ratio (13C/12C) of CO2, the concentration of CO2, and the concentration of CH4 at ambient and subsurface levels ¿ will be developed. After thorough testing, the instruments will be deployed and evaluated at a DOE Carbon Sequestration Field Site and at a biological natural carbon sequestration site. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The carbon isotope ratiometer should find applicability in a variety of markets, including environmental research, industrial process control, and medical diagnostics. Preliminary estimates suggest annual revenue exceeding $3M/year by 2012.
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