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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Evaluating geological sequestration of CO2 in low rank coals; Velenje basin, Slovenia as a natural analogue

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.06.07  Natural sciences and mathematics  Geology  Natural resources (mineral and energy raw materials, water) 

Code Science Field
P005  Natural sciences and mathematics  Geology, physical geography 

Code Science Field
1.05  Natural Sciences  Earth and related Environmental sciences 
Keywords
carbon dioxide, sequestration, methane, fluids, origin, stable isotopes, biogeochemical processes, modeling, geological media, structural-geological mapping, mining, coal, risk assessment, sedimentation basins
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (15)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  34038  PhD Sergej Jamnikar  Mining and geotechnology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  45 
2.  21543  PhD Tjaša Kanduč  Geology  Head  2013 - 2016  490 
3.  25622  PhD David Kocman  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2013 - 2016  359 
4.  22918  Robert Lah  Mining and geotechnology  Technical associate  2013 - 2016  44 
5.  10807  PhD Sonja Lojen  Geology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  516 
6.  10097  PhD Milan Medved  Mining and geotechnology  Researcher  2013  144 
7.  11279  PhD Nives Ogrinc  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2013 - 2016  1,150 
8.  34042  PhD Jerneja Sedlar  Mining and geotechnology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  33 
9.  01873  PhD Vekoslava Stibilj  Chemistry  Researcher  2013 - 2014  687 
10.  01411  PhD Zdenka Šlejkovec  Chemistry  Researcher  2015 - 2016  240 
11.  24253  PhD Timotej Verbovšek  Geology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  376 
12.  15886  PhD Goran Vižintin  Mining and geotechnology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  489 
13.  15900  PhD Marko Vrabec  Geology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  324 
14.  22449  PhD Mirijam Vrabec  Geology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  178 
15.  08359  PhD Simon Zavšek  Geology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  216 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  91,992 
2.  1252  The Coal mine Velenje  Velenje  5040361  353 
3.  1555  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engeneering  Ljubljana  1627074  19,950 
Abstract
To meet the mid to long term CO2 reduction targets agreed on a through the Kyoto Protocol (Slovenia ratified it in year 2002), geological carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS – carbon capture and storage) is currently seriously considered for addressing, in the near term, the problem of climate change. In the proposed project we will focus on following researches: geological-structural mapping at excavation fields, we will determine origin, transport pathways of fluids and geochemical background of the system with modeling, determine circulation model of fluids and determine interaction and biogeochemical processes between the system rock-lignite-water-CO2. At each excavation field coalbed origin will be determined; coalbed gas concentrations in advancement of working face will be monitored and contributed to safe lignite excavation-protection against gas outbursts. Besides measuring concentrations and isotopic composition the excavation fields will be mapped, relations between structures and mineralization zones will be searched, which can contribute due to lower permeability to higher gas concentration content and generation of gas outbursts. With the application of software modeling (ArcGIS) an evaluation of critical areas of gas outburst phenomena will be determined according to all risk factors at excavation fields (concentration and origin of coalbed gases, stress state at excavation fields, sedimentological and structural-geological characteristics). The phenomena of mineralization zones at excavation fields will provide important information about gas generation and new sedimentological data about formation of the basin. Also structural-geological model of Velenje Basin will be performed, hydraulic model of groundwater flow and geochemical maps of coalbed gas concentrations and their origin will be determined. Geological, structural-geological and hydrogeological researches will serve as basis for determination the suitability of Velenje coal basin, since only that way the most appropriate locations for CO2 sequestration in the basin will be determined. Determination of the origin of gases with specific geological methods (isotopic analyses) and processes such as reactions in the system water-rock-gas, including bacterial activity is furthermore important for determination of possibility of methane exploration since it is known that methane is produced at anaerobic conditions and bacterial activity with CO2 reduction. Sedimentary basins represent an important source of hydrocarbons and groundwater for energy and water resources, respectively. Therefore, it is critical to understand the origin, distribution, and composition of fluids in sedimentary basins worldwide. The molecular and isotopic composition of gases in sedimentary basins provides important information about the origin of natural gas and extent of organic matter biodegradation. Demands for natural gas (methane) are becoming greater, since methane presents clean burning fuel therefore the possibility of its utilization will be investigated. The researches will also serve as the basis for further geochemical monitoring in the case of sequestration of CO2 in coalbeds from the anthropogenic sources and eventual exploration of methane from coalbeds (reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases). Research project will also support development of clean coal technologies in Slovenia such as: Underground Coal Gasification (UCG), Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and Coalbed Methane (CBM) and is therefore in compliance with EU policy for combating climate change in a cost-effective way.
Significance for science
Structural-geological and geochemical researches of fluids and their distribution (geochemical maps) in Velenje coal basin represent basic information on suitability of coal basin for methane exploitation (CBM) and CO2 sequestration (CCS) as well as new knowledge about transport processes of fluid in coal basin will be obtained since following models will be performed: gas, structural-geological and hydraulic model of groundwater flow. For this purpose, applied research project involves researchers from different areas of geology (structural geology, hydrogeology, sedimentology, geochemistry, isotopic geochemistry and geomechanics). For the first time systematic geochemical and hydrogeochemical and isotopic researches of groundwater (researches of Pliocene and Triassic aquifers) with modeling of groundwater flow in Velenje basin will be performed. With these researches better insight in the formation of the basin and fluids (CO2 and methane) and biogeochemical processes (in detail process of methanogenesis will be investigated) in the system gas-water-carbonate ongoing in the coal seam will be clarified. Pliocene and Triassic aquifers represent transport medium for CO2, which dissolves in water and in the case of thermodynamical over saturation precipitates in form of carbonate lenses and veins in fractured zones close to fault zones. For this purpose excavation fields will be structurally geologically mapped and relations between mineralization and fault zones will be investigated. Searching of these relations is important for gas outburst prediction since areas of elevated concentrations of coalbed gases and proximity of fault zones promote generation of gas outburst. With the use of all applied methods (laboratory and software equipment and ArcGIS modeling adapted for modeling in coalmine) more or less critical areas at excavation fields will be detected, which are potential for gas outburst and help to predict/prevent gas outburst in coalmine. These secondary formed carbonates give better information on fluid origin (methane generation: reduction of CO2 or fermentation), which is important in case of methane exploitation from coalbeds as well as recent methane generation. Therefore research project includes introduction new analytical method in Slovenia (emphasis on development and application of new specific geological method), determination of isotopic composition of deuterium in methane to complete evaluate origin of methane from coalbeds. Furthermore, the project team will have the expert knowledge for studying structural geochemical processes in sedimentation basins and dealing with problematic of radioactive waste disposal in Slovenia.
Significance for the country
Applied researched project with the title: Evaluating geological sequestration of CO2 in low rank coals; Velenje basin, Slovenia as a natural analogue is directly important for economy and society. Research of the methane origin is important also because of the possibility of its use in future as energy source and simultaneously reduction of methane emissions in the atmosphere. Furthermore, proposed project will present basic for hydrogeochemical monitoring in case of CO2 sequestration in coalmine since CO2 sequestration in geologic media represents the most appropriate method for solving problematic of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Proposed project will give the opportunity for reducing anthropogenic CO2 emissions and consequently climatic changes according to Kyoto protocol. Hydrogeochemical research of groundwater in the Velenje coal basin are also interesting for the water supply management and closeness of water, which is separated from coalbed seam with thin intermediate clay strata and can represent potential dangerous of water invasion in mine (protection from accidents). Results of geochemical analyses of gases will be related to results of tension and deformation state at excavation fields, which are assembled by project ants of the Velenje coalmine, therefore the project is important for economic company, which is actively incorporated in project implementation. Beneficiaries will gain new knowledge about variation of coalbed gases with longwall method of excavation, which will provide more effective excavation. Proposed project will also serve as basis for greater safety and accidents reduction due to gas outbursts in coalmine. These researches will represent also a benefit for the Velenje coalmine to achieve their goals, such as more effective excavation and greater protection of the coalminers. Proposed project is also important for public administration. Furthermore, during research project also the cooperation with EARS (Environmental agency of the Republic of Slovenia, Sector for air quality) will be established since CO2 is the only pollutant in air, which emissions cannot be reduced with application of BAT (Best Available Techniques) techniques since the reference year 1990. Therefore, the research project supports the Kyoto protocol (Directive 2003/87/EC), Directive on the geological storage of carbon dioxide (Directive 2009/31/ES) and development of clean coal technologies in Slovenia such as: Underground Coal Gasification (UCG), Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and Coalbed Methane (CBM) and is therefore in compliance with EU policy for combating climate change in a cost-effective way. The proposed research project is also in the scope of ongoing global research agenda and prioritizes future needs based on relevance for the evolution of the carbon-climate-human system and represent the basis for sequestration of CO2 in basins and consequently reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in atmosphere.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
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