Thursday, April 30, 2009

Margaret Mead & Herbert Spencer were Right!

"Never doubt that a small committed group of people can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has."
~ Margaret Mead

“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.”
~ Herbert Spencer

Perhaps I am like you, an “accidental activist”. I became aware of the CO2 issue, read about it, attended meetings and then left with the attitude that “it was a done deal”. I let them convince me there was nothing I could do about it.

Having been raised to be “good, compliant citizens, many of us fit this mold. Then the “issue” eats at become more educated on the issue and realize that it is NOT a done deal and by talking to others you discover there are many others like you who do not want to see their environment, safety, health or home compromised for the sake of an “experiment”.

Grassroots initiatives are designed to help each other become more aware of the issues facing our communities. A grassroots initiative will increase dialogue among our elected representatives and increase awareness of the important issues facing our community.

Grassroots organizers view people who don’t share our point of view, not as an “enemy” but as a neighbor who might need more information – often the same information you used to form your opinion. It is not the time to pick sides; it is the time to come together, standing shoulder to shoulder as we mobilize a movement of our friends and neighbors who want what’s best for our community.

As a grassroots movement progresses, the support of the community is imperative. Participation is vital to the success of the initiative, without this participation, it will only have a very limited success. Participates who support the movement need to be active and be heard before it’s too late. Rather than a single voice, the grassroots movement mobilizes a large movement of concerned citizens and it can be a VERY powerful voice.

The CO2 sequestration experiments are funded LARGELY by YOUR Tax dollars and some private industry. Join your local grassroots movement to stop CO2 sequestration NOW! It is not bubbles or carbonation going into the ground, it is an entirely different substance when it is condensed - called supercritical CO2, it is an acid that is an industrial solvent. It is not “stored” in the earth, it is deposited there FOREVER.

Many of us believe it is a band-aid to buy time for the coal industry – an industry that has not protected the people who live and work in their communities! Countless fellow Americans who can't drink their water and who have the shortest life expectancy in our country! I am ashamed to say that THEIR issues did not ever cross my mind until MY issues had something in common with theirs. Now,with the political drums beating to protect the coal industry -the CO2 issue is trickling into my neighborhood and many like mine as it moves around the world as a way for industry to deposit some of their CO2 that is currently released into the atmosphere.

Are you aware that they need to burn significantly MORE coal to capture CO2 and MORE coal to convert CO2 into supercritical CO2 before they use even MORE Coal to convert it into the energy needed to pump it, under great pressure, into the ground FOREVER. Did I mention that YOUR Tax dollars are funding these projects and YOUR electric bill is going to go up considerably? You do the math.

If you are thinking CO2 sequestration might be a solution until clean coal is developed… Sorry Virginia, just like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, there is no such thing… clean coal is NOT clean.

If you are opposed to CO2 sequestration, especially if it is scheduled to happen in your neighborhood, I urge you to get educated and get active NOW! Believe the words of Margaret Mead, YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Talk to your family, friends and co-workers. Write letters to the newspaper editor and your elected officials who are supposed to be working on YOUR behalf.

This type of action gave birth to the NIMBY Movement (Not In My Backyard) – it motivates an important American tradition – the right of individual citizens to protect their safety and way of life by uniting in a common cause. Many backyard activists go on to expand their reach, realizing that we are all one people….and our “backyard” includes our community, country and the world.

Please don’t miss this opportunity to become involved and protect what you hold dear – your family’s health, environment, home, community and fresh water, while you still have this window of opportunity to STOP IT!

If this is happening in YOUR neighborhood, we’d love to know about your efforts to put an end to it and we'd love to compare notes!

Please check out the advocacy and action groups listed on this blog - they are doing very important work -Work that most of us have no idea about until it.............happens in OUR backyard. We are grateful for their support in our time of need - they are a terrific source of great information.

Together we CAN make a DIFFERENCE!

"Our mistreatment of the natural world diminishes our own dignity and sacredness, not only because we are destroying resources that future generations of humans need, but because we are engaging in actions that contradict what it means to be human. Our tradition calls us to protect the life and dignity of the human person, and it is increasingly clear that this task cannot be separated from the care and defense of all of creation."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Supercritical Fluid Processing for Renewable Energy

If they really wanted to capture the CO2 and eliminate it they would be doing something that is "green", like turning the captured and condensed CO2 - which is called Supercritical CO2 or Supercritical Fluid into Renewable Fuel or sell it to industry where it is used as a solvent.

Check out this presentation to see more about this and to realize how acidic this form of CO2 is... it even dissolves glass! This is the same stuff they want to put into the ground FOREVER.

Gas-water-rock interactions in Frio Formation following CO2 injection:

"To investigate the potential for the geologic storage of CO2 in saline sedimentary aquifers, 1600 t of CO2 were injected at 1500 m depth into a 24-m-thick sandstone section of the Frio Formation, a regional brine and oil reservoir in the U.S. Gulf Coast. Fluid samples obtained from the injection and observation wells before CO2 injection showed a Na-Ca-Cl–type brine with 93,000 mg/L total dissolved solids (TDS) at near saturation with CH4 at reservoir conditions. Following CO2 breakthrough, samples showed sharp drops in pH (6.5–5.7), pronounced increases in alkalinity (100–3000 mg/L as HCO3) and Fe (30–1100 mg/L), and significant shifts in the isotopic compositions of H2O, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and CH4. Geochemical modeling indicates that brine pH would have dropped lower but for the buffering by dissolution of carbonate and iron oxyhydroxides. This rapid dissolution of carbonate and other minerals could ultimately create pathways in the rock seals or well cements for CO2 and brine leakage. Dissolution of minerals, especially iron oxyhydroxides, could mobilize toxic trace metals and, where residual oil or suitable organics are present, the injected CO2 could also mobilize toxic organic compounds. Environmental impacts could be major if large brine volumes with mobilized toxic metals and organics migrated into potable groundwater. The δ18O values for brine and CO2 samples indicate that supercritical CO2 comprises ∼50% of pore-fluid volume ∼6 mo after the end of injection. Postinjection sampling, coupled with geochemical modeling, indicates that the brine gradually will return to its preinjection composition."

This is the link to the web site for more information and documentation

Potential Leakage and Toxicity Problems with CO2 Sequestration

(From Green Car Congress web site April 28, 2009)

31 July 2006

Cross-well seismic difference tomogram of the Frio Brine project shows the CO2 plume.

Results from a field test on CO2 sequestration in an old brine-filled oil reservoir suggest that the mixture of CO2 and brine dissolves minerals in the rock walls, including carbonate, that could lead to pathways in the rock through which the gas could escape.

In a paper published in the July edition of Geology, the researchers in the Frio Brine Pilot also note the potential for the mobilization of toxic trace metals and toxic organic compounds.

The Frio Brine Pilot was the first test of closely monitored CO2 injection in a brine formation in the United States, and was funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) under the leadership of the Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) at the Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, with major collaboration from GEO-SEQ, a national lab consortium led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

The researchers injected 1,600 metric tons of CO2 1,500 meters down into a sandstone site representative of a target for large-volume storage. The sandstones of the Oligocene Frio Formation are part of a thick, regionally extensive sandstone trend that underlies a concentration of industrial sources and power plants along the Gulf Coast of the United States.

Monitoring strategy at Frio.

The team then measured and monitored the CO2 plume using a diverse suite of technologies in three intervals: the injection zone, the area above the injection zone, and the shallow near-surface environment.

Each monitoring strategy used a preinjection and one or more postinjection measurements. Wireline logging, pressure and temperature measurement, and geochemical sampling were also conducted during injection, and at follow-up intervals subsequent to the injection.

While the sequestration to-date has been successful—there have been no detected CO2 leakages—the researchers conclude in their latest published assessment of on-going findings and analysis that the chemistry of the process might prove problematic.

Fluid samples obtained from the injection and observation wells before CO2 injection showed a Na-Ca-Cl–type brine with 93,000 mg/L total dissolved solids (TDS) at near saturation with CH4 at reservoir conditions.

Following CO2 breakthrough, samples showed sharp drops in pH (6.5–5.7), pronounced increases in alkalinity (100–3,000 mg/L as HCO3) and Fe (30–1,100 mg/L), and significant shifts in the isotopic compositions of H2O, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and CH4.

Geochemical modeling indicates that brine pH would have dropped lower but for the buffering by dissolution of carbonate and iron oxyhydroxides.

This rapid dissolution of carbonate and other minerals could ultimately create pathways in the rock seals or well cements for CO2 and brine leakage. Dissolution of minerals, especially iron oxyhydroxides, could mobilize toxic trace metals and, where residual oil or suitable organics are present, the injected CO2 could also mobilize toxic organic compounds.

Environmental impacts could be major if large brine volumes with mobilized toxic metals and organics migrated into potable groundwater.

Seismic Testing

Ever wonder how it's done? Check here to view a short video,

To view an actual video of the thumper trucks in action click here

For a Fact Sheet about Seismic Testing click here

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Carbon Sequestration: Injection of toxic gases into poor communities or the salvation of the fossil fuel industry, or both?

By Jane Williams
Executive Director
California Communities Against Toxics
Read the full article here

"Carbon Sequestration actually refers to the practice of injecting compressed CO2 gases into the ground to keep them from being released into the atmosphere where they are causing the planet to overheat. In order to be injected, the gases must be compressed into a liquid, a costly and expensive process; some experts estimate that 20% of the energy from a power plant will be needed to collect and compress the CO2 emitted from the plant. Once injected into the ground, the gases must be carefully monitored for leakage. This is because if the gases leak out, they are deadly. CO2 is lighter [Editor's note: this is a typo, the author has corrected this in a comment, it is heavier] than air, and displaces air when released into the environment. When the gases are released they stay close to the ground, displace oxygen, and suffocate everything in its path."

there are recent studies that conclude that carbon sequestration could create alarming environmental problems, endanger communities, and potentially be very costly to both ratepayers and taxpayers."

Two events in the relative recent history of CO2 emissions from natural sources underscore the community health hazard created if CO2 were to escape from sequestration:

The largest recent disaster caused by a large CO2 release from a lake occurred in 1986, in Cameroon, central Africa. A volcanic crater-lake known as Nyos belched bubbles of CO2 into the still night air and the gas settled around the lake's shore, where it killed 1800 people and countless thousands of animals.

The 15 August 1984 gas release at Lake Monoun that killed 37 people (Sigurdsson and others, 1987) was attributed to a rapid overturn of lake water with CO2 that had been at the bottom coming to the surface, triggered by an earthquake and landslide. The emission of around 1 cubic kilometer of CO2 devastated a local village and killed animals for miles. The people who died also had chemical burns on their skins, researchers do not know if that was from the CO2 emitted or from other contaminants that were released from the lake when the landslide occurred.

"Because of the expense of the practice, carbon sequestration would most likely be in oil fields in California where the carbon injected would be used to liberate extra gooey oil that cannot currently be extracted economically. In a large bit of romantic irony, carbon sequestration would be used to extract more carbon from the ground to be burned in the form of gasoline that would emit more CO2 into the air."

"The fossil fuel industry has shown no sign that they are willing to bear the liability of CO2 leaks from underground storage. Presumably that cost, which would be akin to a huge natural disaster for a community should a leak occur, would be borne by taxpayers."

The nuclear industry asked for, and got, immunity from liability for the release of its waste into the environment or a meltdown of one of its many reactors. In both the Price-Andersen Act in the 1950s and in the Energy Bill passed by Congress recently liability for nuclear accidents is the responsibility of the US taxpayer. Those same taxpayers are on the hook to accept all its nuclear waste as well.
Carbon sequestration is going down the same path. It’s been said that Texas recently voted to accept title to carbon sequestered beneath the huge Edwards Aquifer and to accept liability should the waste leak. This question of who will bear the costs should the unthinkable occur and a huge burp of CO2 extrudes in a California community has not even been asked and answered here in California.

Despite this, legislation is proceeding forward that will grant the folks in charge of oil and gas extraction in the state the sole authority to regulate the practice of carbon sequestration.

As well, the electricity coming from fossil fuel plants that do carbon sequestration will be more expensive because a lot of energy is lost in the process of running these specialized plants, in the actual sequestration operation, and the huge costs of building the pipelines, the plants, drilling the holes, and maintaining and monitoring the sequestration project. Presumably, all those costs will be passed onto the customers as well.

When CO2 is injected into the ground it becomes corrosive to the rock and liberates the metals that are in the ground. Concerns have been raised about these toxic chemicals affecting ground water. California relies upon its groundwater for more than 40% of its water supply. As well, CO2’s acidic nature is corrosive to the underground environment and the gases can actually eat through rock. There is clearly the potential for this captured gas to escape at some point in the future. A recent pilot project that injected CO2 into the subsurface in a brine filled oil reservoir liberated metals and organic chemicals as well as dissolved the rock, creating pathways through which the gas could escape.

The legislature passed a bill by Assemblymember Blakeslee (AB 1925) last year that has the Department of Conservation doing a report on carbon sequestration for the legislature. We do not have the benefit of that report and it is not due until November of this year. As well, under the architecture of AB 32, carbon sequestration is covered under the scoping plans which are to undergo review by the Environmental Justice Advisory Committee on Greenhouse Gases. This bill would have regulations on carbon sequestration skirt the review of that committee.

The dangers to community health and the huge costs involved in carbon sequestration (which will be borne by ratepayers and taxpayers ultimately) deserve close scrutiny. The science and policy issues surrounding the burial of extremely toxic gases in environmental justice communities deserves a special select committee of the legislature to examine and report back to the relevant policy committees.

Piecing together schemes to inject toxic gases under the ground in environmental justice communities in order to continue reliance on fossil fuels as our energy source is just not good policy. A switch to sustainable, renewable energy and conservation is the rational long term solution to our global warming problem

Jane Williams serves as the Executive Director of California Communities Against Toxics (CCAT). She is responsible for directing this 70 member environmental justice coalition in California, which is statewide and works on pollution, environmental justice policy issues, and directly assists communities affected by environmental pollution. She has served on many statewide advisory committees, testified in front of Congress and the State Legislature, and spoken at conferences on the impacts of pollution in adversely impacted communities.

She currently serves on the federal committee that advises the Department of Defense on the disposal of the nation's chemical weapons stockpile. She was recently appointed to the Environmental Justice Advisory Committee for Greenhouse Gases at the Air Resources Board. Jane makes herself available night and day for community efforts, championing human health and the environment.
Posted on April 22, 2007"

Friday, April 24, 2009

Google Group

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CO2 Sequestration Danger - 2 Ohio Sites

Is YOUR family's

Get the FACTS about
C02 Sequestration
This is NOT Green Technology
and WE are the GUINEA PIGS

This is a link to an article that talks about the CO2 sequestration projects for two Ohio counties and about some of the most obvious dangers of CO2 sequestration - the possibility of dying from asphyxiation is not on there but it is a very real threat. click here.

GreenPeace Activist Oppose CO2 sequestration in the Netherlands - how nice to see another grassroots movement put a snag in their plans! I love the time bombs on the opposition posters....Residents fear another CO2 catastrophic leak of CO2. Some of them cite an incident in Cameroon in 1986, when Lake Nyos released a lethal cloud of naturally occurring carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, suffocating about 1,700 people and thousands of cattle

Shell failed to account for local opposition. Some 1,300 locals raised objections to the plan. Last month, the town council came out against it, citing "numerous reservations."

I applaud their town council!

"It's not just Nimby-ism," said Anne-Marie van het Erve, a spokeswoman for Barendrecht's council. "A large part of the carbon-storage technology is unproved. And we're saying if it's an experiment, you shouldn't be doing it in an urban environment."

The whole story is here


DOE's Carbon Sequestration Program

DOE's Carbon Sequestration Program

DOE's Carbon Sequestration Program involves two key elements for technology development:

Core Research and Development

Demonstration and Deployment

The Core Research & Development part contains 5 different areas of focus for developing the technology to sequester CO2 -

1. CO2 Capture

2. Carbon Storage

3. Monitoring, Mitigation, and Verification

4. Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gas Control

5. Breakthrough Concepts.

Core R&D is accomplished through laboratory and pilot-scale research aimed at developing new technologies and new systems and it provides technology solutions which support Demonstration and Deployment in the areas of Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships, FutureGen, and other commercial opportunities.

Experiences with Demonstration and Deployment provide "lessons learned" which are used by Core R&D in developing further technology solutions.

From the WEB SITE -

What is Carbon Sequestration?

Carbon sequestration encompasses the processes of capture and storage of CO2 that would otherwise reside in the atmosphere for long periods of time. DOE is investigating a variety of carbon sequestration options. Geologic sequestration involves the separation and capture of CO2 at the point of emissions followed by storage in deep underground geologic formations. Terrestrial sequestration involves the net removal of CO2 from the atmosphere by plants and microorganisms and its storage in vegetative biomass and in soils. There is significant opportunity to use terrestrial sequestration both to reduce CO2 and to obtain the ancillary benefits such as habitat and water quality improvements that often result from such projects. The DOE is focusing its efforts for terrestrial sequestration on increasing carbon uptake through reforestation and amendment of minelands and other damaged soils. In addition, regional efforts are examining terrestrial sequestration through various land management techniques including no-till farming and wetland restoration.

It is expected that large numbers of new power plants and fuel processing facilities will be built in the coming decades, in both the developing world as well as in some areas of the developed world, such as the U.S. and Canada. These new facilities, along with existing plants having the potential for being appropriately retrofitted, will create ample opportunities for deploying efficient and cost effective CO2 capture technologies. DOE's CO2 capture efforts seek to cost effectively capture and purify CO2 using post-combustion, pre-combustion, or oxy-combustion technologies for carbon capture.

Geologic sequestration is defined as the placement of CO2 into an underground repository in such a way that it will remain permanently stored.

DOE is investigating five types of underground formations for geologic sequestration, each with different challenges and opportunities for CO2 sequestration: (1) mature oil and natural gas reservoirs, (2) deep unmineable coal seams, (3) deep saline formations, (4) oil- and gas-rich organic shales, and (5) basalt formations.

The process of CO2 sequestration includes monitoring, mitigation, and verification (MM&V) as well as risk assessment at the sequestration site. DOE's MM&V efforts focus on development and deployment of technologies that can provide an accurate accounting of stored CO2 and a high level of confidence that the CO2 will remain permanently sequestered. Effective application of these MM&V technologies will ensure the safety of sequestration projects with respect to both human health and the environment, and provide the basis for establishing carbon credit trading markets for sequestered CO2. Risk assessment research focuses on identifying and quantifying potential risks to humans and the environment associated with CO2 sequestration and helping to ensure that these risks remain low.

Dangers of CO2 Sequestration in Sandstone Formation

From the New Scientist Print Edition, March 27, 2008 article by Fred Pearce -

"Coal produces around three times its own weight of CO2. This will all have to be pressurised, liquefied and moved to a site where it can be interred at depths of a kilometre or more, where the pressure will ensure that it stays liquid.

How secure would these burial grounds be? Opponents of CCS schemes recall the disaster in 1986, when a million tonnes of CO2 belched from the bottom of Lake Nyos in Cameroon. Being denser than air, the gas formed a blanket that asphyxiated some 1700 people. Though the event was entirely natural, it has left a potent image of what could go wrong. As Bert Metz, co-author of a 2005 report on CCS by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says: "Public acceptance is a possible show-stopper if things are not done properly."

Geologists don't dismiss the possibility of a catastrophic release, after an earthquake perhaps. But they see slow seepage as at least as important a concern. To prevent climate change, CO2 has to be stored safely for millennia. Even a leakage rate of 0.01 per cent a year - a suggested industry standard - would see almost two-thirds of the gas gone within 10,000 years. The legal question of who has long-term responsibility for stored carbon is also unresolved, and it could prove as convoluted a debate as that over nuclear waste. No surprise, then, that next to designing a capture plant, assessing the leakage threat is the major research focus for CCS."

Susan Hovorka of the University of Texas, Austin, the project's principal investigator,points out, " geologists will be under pressure to find burial sites close to power plants, where the rock formations may be less than perfect. "We know how to recognise an excellent site," she says. "But we need confidence about when to screen out sites that are too risky." She also admits there is no method yet for deciding how much CO2 a particular rock formation can absorb before leaking, and how to spot if things are going wrong

The furthest-advanced project is a test site at which engineers have injected 1600 tonnes of CO2 into a sandstone formation known as the Upper Frio on the Gulf coast of Texas. The rock, which once contained oil, is now flooded with salt water. An early report on the Frio project, published in the journal Geology by Yousif Kharaka of the US Geological Survey, points to a possible danger of storing CO2 in formations like these. The CO2 has acidified the brine, allowing it to dissolve metal-oxide minerals in the rock, and this, Kharaka says, might eventually create tunnels in the cap rock through which CO2 might escape.

An article about the Greenville, Ohio project, can be found by clicking you read it, make sure you note the words used over and over......"TEST" TESTING"
In their own words from that site -

"The Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP)1 is one of seven partnerships established by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to test the feasibility of geologic sequestration."

"The carbon dioxide would be stored permanently deep below the ground under the plant."

This statement suggests that it would all be contained right there, not migrate off their property.

"The site has geology that is likely to be suitable for carbon dioxide storage. The Mount Simon
Sandstone, which underlies the site, is the largest potential geologic reservoir for carbon
sequestration in the Midwest. The test will enable geologists to learn more about the capacity of this deep formation, which underlies parts of Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois and is estimated to have the capacity to store a large fraction of carbon dioxide emissions from large coal fired power plants in the Midwest for many decades."

"By the completion of the project in 2018, the injection site will be closed and will be returned to near the original condition that existed prior to implementation of the geologic storage demonstration test."

I ask you, HOW can the site be returned to "near original condition" after 1 million metric tons of supercritical CO2 is permanently injected into the ground......... who monitors this site afterwards? Who has the legal liability should YOUR home be damaged or destroyed in an earthquake as a result of this 'TEST" "EXPERIMENT"?

"CO2 measurement and monitoring approaches for subsurface processes have yet to be proven at the temporal and spatial scales relevant to geologic sequestration. While the current capabilities are not an impediment to undertaking CCS, monitoring and verification approaches will likely benefit from lessons learned through demonstration and early projects."

(Benson S. and L. Myer, 2008, “PIER white paper on Monitoring to Ensure Safe and Effective Geologic Storage of Carbon Dioxide.,” Assessment of Geologic Carbon Sequestration in California, E. Burton and R.Myhre, Eds. PIER Energy‐Related Environmental Research, C‐500‐2008‐009.)

"the ability to assess carbon sequestration risks will improve with time and with experience. Especially in the early years, each sequestration site is not just a place to get rid of CO2; it is also an experiment that will provide valuable data for use in future sequestration efforts." (