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C 2015, 1(1), 95-111; doi:10.3390/c1010095

Using Vegetation near CO2 Mediated Enhanced Oil Recovery (CO2-EOR) Activities for Monitoring Potential Emissions and Ecological Effects

Department of Biological & Environmental Sciences, Alabama A & M University, Huntsville, AL 35762, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Enrico Andreoli
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 8 December 2015 / Accepted: 14 December 2015 / Published: 19 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Processes for Carbon Dioxide Capture and Utilisation)
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Abstract

CO2 mediated enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) may lead to methods of CO2 reduction in the atmosphere through carbon capture and storage (CCS); therefore, monitoring and verification methods are needed to ensure that CO2-EOR and CCS activities are environmentally safe and effective. This study explored vegetation growth rate to determine potential ecological effects of emissions from CO2-EOR activities. Plant relative growth rates (RGR) from plots within an oilfield and reference areas, before and after CO2 breakthrough were used to assess CO2-EOR activities impact surrounding vegetation. The trend for both areas was the decrease in RGR ratio during the study time; however, the decrease in RGR ratio was significantly less in the oilfield area compared to the reference area overall and by subcategories of pine, tree and shrub. Based on data from plant plots, RGR decreased in the reference and oilfield areas except one plot, which increased in RGR. Within the oilfield and reference areas, several species decreased significantly in RGR, but American olive increased in RGR. Vegetation monitoring could provide parameters related to the modeling potential effects of emissions on local ecosystems (species, groups and community) and serve as a necessary component to the monitoring and verification of CO2-EOR and CCS projects. The challenge and limitations of vegetation monitoring were also discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: enhanced oil recovery; CO2 reduction; monitoring; verification enhanced oil recovery; CO2 reduction; monitoring; verification
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, X.; Roberts, K.A. Using Vegetation near CO2 Mediated Enhanced Oil Recovery (CO2-EOR) Activities for Monitoring Potential Emissions and Ecological Effects. C 2015, 1, 95-111.

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