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1.  On the potential for CO2 mineral storage in continental flood basalts – PHREEQC batch- and 1D diffusion–reaction simulations 
Continental flood basalts (CFB) are considered as potential CO2 storage sites because of their high reactivity and abundant divalent metal ions that can potentially trap carbon for geological timescales. Moreover, laterally extensive CFB are found in many place in the world within reasonable distances from major CO2 point emission sources.
Based on the mineral and glass composition of the Columbia River Basalt (CRB) we estimated the potential of CFB to store CO2 in secondary carbonates. We simulated the system using kinetic dependent dissolution of primary basalt-minerals (pyroxene, feldspar and glass) and the local equilibrium assumption for secondary phases (weathering products). The simulations were divided into closed-system batch simulations at a constant CO2 pressure of 100 bar with sensitivity studies of temperature and reactive surface area, an evaluation of the reactivity of H2O in scCO2, and finally 1D reactive diffusion simulations giving reactivity at CO2 pressures varying from 0 to 100 bar.
Although the uncertainty in reactive surface area and corresponding reaction rates are large, we have estimated the potential for CO2 mineral storage and identified factors that control the maximum extent of carbonation. The simulations showed that formation of carbonates from basalt at 40 C may be limited to the formation of siderite and possibly FeMg carbonates. Calcium was largely consumed by zeolite and oxide instead of forming carbonates. At higher temperatures (60 – 100 C), magnesite is suggested to form together with siderite and ankerite. The maximum potential of CO2 stored as solid carbonates, if CO2 is supplied to the reactions unlimited, is shown to depend on the availability of pore space as the hydration and carbonation reactions increase the solid volume and clog the pore space. For systems such as in the scCO2 phase with limited amount of water, the total carbonation potential is limited by the amount of water present for hydration of basalt.
PMCID: PMC3751947  PMID: 22697910
2.  The Potential for Low-Temperature Abiotic Hydrogen Generation and a Hydrogen-Driven Deep Biosphere 
Astrobiology  2011;11(7):711-724.
The release and oxidation of ferrous iron during aqueous alteration of the mineral olivine is known to reduce aqueous solutions to such extent that molecular hydrogen, H2, forms. H2 is an efficient energy carrier and is considered basal to the deep subsurface biosphere. Knowledge of the potential for H2 generation is therefore vital to understanding the deep biosphere on Earth and on extraterrestrial bodies.
Here, we provide a review of factors that may reduce the potential for H2 generation with a focus on systems in the core temperature region for thermophilic to hyperthermophilic microbial life. We show that aqueous sulfate may inhibit the formation of H2, whereas redox-sensitive compounds of carbon and nitrogen are unlikely to have significant effect at low temperatures. In addition, we suggest that the rate of H2 generation is proportional to the dissolution rate of olivine and, hence, limited by factors such as reactive surface areas and the access of water to fresh surfaces. We furthermore suggest that the availability of water and pore/fracture space are the most important factors that limit the generation of H2. Our study implies that, because of large heat flows, abundant olivine-bearing rocks, large thermodynamic gradients, and reduced atmospheres, young Earth and Mars probably offered abundant systems where microbial life could possibly have emerged. Key Words: Serpentinization—Olivine—Hydrogen—Deep biosphere—Water—Mars. Astrobiology 11, 711–724.
PMCID: PMC3176347  PMID: 21923409

Results 1-2 (2)