Abstract: The subsurface is indispensable to deep energy decarbonization, with the inherent capacity to store energy on scales necessary to balance renewable grid loads and to store CO2 on scales relevant to emission reduction targets. Mineral precipitation reactions play critical roles, both positive and negative, in these engineered subsurface systems, but are notoriously challenging to anticipate or monitor. This talk will highlight experimental efforts to understand both the 'necessary conditions' for precipitation to occur and the effects of precipitation on fluid transport. The results have implications for both preventing precipitation reactions that can undesirably block or obstruct flow, and alternatively promoting precipitation reactions for targeted "sealing" to prevent fluid migration in storage applications. We will also synthesize experimental and modeling work underscoring how we can leverage natural precipitation reactions to promote CO2 mineralization as a permanent sequestration pathway.
Bio: Anne Menefee is an assistant professor of energy and mineral engineering at Penn State and a co-funded faculty in the Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE). Her research is broadly focused on subsurface systems that can be engineered for low-carbon energy production and carbon sequestration. At a fundamental level, she is working to understand how geochemical reactions impact fracture permeability, stability, and propagation in stressed geologic systems. At a systems level, her work evaluates the life cycle and techno-economic implications of emerging technologies that can both curb net emissions in the market. Before joining Penn State, she did her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan and worked as Director's Postdoctoral Fellow at Los Alamos National Lab.