Development of detection and monitoring techniques of CO2 leakage from seafloor in sub-seabed CO2 storage
Carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) in sub-seabed geological formations is currently being studied as a potential option to mitigate the accumulation of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere. To investigate the validity of CO2 storage in the sub-seafloor, development of techniques to detect and monitor CO2 leaked from the seafloor is vital. Seafloor-based acoustic tomography is a technique that can be used to observe emissions of liquid CO2 or CO2 gas bubbles from the seafloor. By deploying a number of acoustic tomography units in a seabed area used for CCS, CO2 leakage from the seafloor can be monitored. In addition, an in-situ pH/pCO2 sensor can take rapid and high-precision measurements in seawater, and is, therefore, able to detect pH and pCO2 changes due to the leaked CO2. The pH sensor uses a solid-state pH electrode and reference electrode instead of a glass electrode, and is sealed within a gas permeable membrane filled with an inner solution. Thus, by installing a pH/pCO2 sensor onto an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), an automated observation technology is realized that can detect and monitor CO2 leakage from the seafloor. Furthermore, by towing a multi-layer monitoring system (a number of pH/pCO2 sensors and transponders) behind the AUV, the dispersion of leaked CO2 in a CCS area can also be observed. Finally, an automatic elevator can observe the time-series dispersion of leaked CO2. The seafloor-mounted automatic elevator consists of a buoy equipped with pH/pCO2 and depth sensors, and uses an Eulerian method to collect spatially continuous data as it ascends and descends. Hence, CO2 leakage from the seafloor is detected and monitored as follows. Step 1: monitor CO2 leakage by seafloor-based acoustic tomography. Step 2: conduct mapping survey of the leakage point by using the pH/pCO2 sensor installed in the AUV. Step 3: observe the impacted area by using a remotely operated underwater vehicle or the automatic elevator, or by towing the multi-layer monitoring system. âº We develop equipment for detecting and monitoring CO2 leakage from seafloor. âº We verify effectiveness of the equipment through sea-going observation. âº These equipment show high ability for detection and monitoring of leaked CO2. âº We propose a strategy for detecting and monitoring CO2 leakage in sub-seabed CCS.