EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A novel CO2 storage concept that reduces the leakage risk

Victor Vilarrasa1,2,3 and Francesco Parisio4
Victor Vilarrasa and Francesco Parisio
  • 1Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, IDAEA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain (
  • 2Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, IMEDEA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain
  • 3Associated Unit: Hydrogeology Group (UPC-CSIC), Barcelona, Spain
  • 4Chair of Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Freiberg University of Mining and Technology, Germany

Geologic carbon storage is needed to reach carbon neutrality and eventually achieve negative emissions. In the classical concept of storing CO2 in deep sedimentary aquifers, supercritical CO2 has a lower density than the resident brine. CO2 is therefore buoyant and the safety and effectiveness of the storage concept rely on the caprock sealing capacity to prevent CO2 leakage. To reduce the risk of CO2 leakage and widen the CO2 storage options, we propose an innovative concept that consists in injecting CO2 in reservoirs where the temperature and pressure of the resident brine are above the critical point ( 373.95 ºC and 22.064 MPa for pure water). At such conditions, which can be found at depths between 3 to 5 km in volcanic areas, CO2 is denser than the resident water and thus, sinks. The sinking tendency reduces the risk of CO2 leakage to the surface even in case of damaged or absent caprock. CO2 storage in supercritical reservoirs can potentially become an additional option to the existing storage concepts aimed at significantly reduce CO2 emissions. We estimate that every 100 wells drilled into supercritical reservoirs could store between 50 to 500 Mt/yr of CO2.



Parisio, F. and Vilarrasa, V. (2020). Sinking CO2 in supercritical reservoirs. Geophysical Research Letters, e2020GL090456.

How to cite: Vilarrasa, V. and Parisio, F.: A novel CO2 storage concept that reduces the leakage risk, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1990,, 2021.

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