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Simulating CO2 Pipeline Transport

Source:  Dan Hawkes

The anticipated introduction of large-scale geologic carbon sequestration (GCS) as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions will require the ability to transport massive amounts of CO2 safely and economically. In a recent paper, a team of scientists led by ESD’s Alberto Mazzoldi (and including ESD-GCS Program Lead Curt Oldenburg) focuses on the safety issues related to the transportation of CO2. The team carried out simulations that coupled two computational fluid dynamics codes to determine, first, the leakage rates from fully ruptured aboveground CO2 pipelines for a typical pipeline fluid composition; and, second, the resulting atmospheric dispersion of the gas near the broken pipe. Among their findings, they note that concentrations dangerous to human health could potentially extend hundreds of meters from the ruptured pipeline.

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Citation: Mazzoldi, A., D. Picard, P.G. Sriram, and C.M. Oldenburg (2013), Simulation-based estimates of safety distances for pipeline transportation of carbon dioxide. Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology, 3 (1), 66–83.

Funding: FE, GEO-SEQ