Undergraduate GLE student Cory Katzban and Graduate GLE student Missy Setz have been chosen by AEG North Central Section as the graduate and undergraduate winners for the 2013 AEG student paper competition. Katzban and Setz presented their research and accepted their awards at an AEG dinner meeting on April 16th.

Abstracts

Cory Katzban: Geologic Entrapment of
Carbon Dioxide Gas in Sedimentary
Basins, The “Sink and Seal” Method

The micro and macro scale components of
sedimentary basins allow them to effectively
trap carbon dioxide gas underground in porous
reservoirs. Porosity and confining pressure of
sandstone aquifer sinks allow the containment of
CO2 in pore space volume, thus inducing pore
fluid pressure. Low permeability shale seal units
prevent CO2 from migrating vertically through
basin formations. It is shown that geomechanical
properties exhibited in sedimentary basins can
be found in areas of flat lying topography, or                                                                                                                                                                                                       areas affected by secondary deformation. Carbon
sequestration taking place in the Illinois Basin in
the Midwest provides an example of large scale,
regional carbon sequestration in a flat lying basin
that has enormous lateral and vertical reservoir
units capable of storing large quantities of CO2.
The geology and location of three smaller
sedimentary basins located throughout the Rocky
Mountains provide an example of how local, more
deformed sedimentary basins in areas of variable
topography can also have adequate storage
potential. Rock properties such as depth,
thickness, porosity, and permeability are explicitly
discussed because these characteristics are key
players in sedimentary carbon sequestration
viability. It is concluded that sedimentary basins,
specifically the rock units that comprise them, are
suitable for effectively trapping carbon dioxide gas
underground.

Missy Setz: Geosynthetic Clay Liners in
Municipal Solid Waste Facilities

Geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs) used in municipal
solid waste (MSW) containment facilities as
manufactured hydraulic barriers are subjected to
hydration and permeation by complex leachate
solutions. Used for their low hydraulic
conductivity, GCLs are used to contain leachate
solutions, preventing the contaminants from
escaping into the environment. Based on the
permeant solution a GCLs properties can change
over time resulting in an increase of hydraulic
conductivity, decrease of clay swell, and the
production of larger flow paths when GCLs of
original Na-bentonite undergoes cation exchange
with multivalent cations, specifically calcium
(Ca2+) (Jo et al., 2001).

This study investigated the feasibility of using an
alternative extraction procedure to, in contrast to
the current ASTM D7503, using a matrix solution
of lithium bromide to successfully characterize
ammonium concentrations within the exchange
complex of fine grained soils.