Toxicological risk assessment in carbon capture and storage technology

Hillebrand,M.; Pflugmacher,S.; Hahn,A.

Objective: Climate change and its consequences is one of the main topics of our time. According to the European Union, Carbon Capture and Storage Technology (CCS) should function as bridge technology for attenuating climate change. Despite well conducted geological risk analyses a major toxicological risk assessment including all components of the process is lacking until today. Results: An extensive literature analysis was conducted. Worstcase simulations for atmospherical emitted alcoholamines (used during the CO2 capture process) were found, which showed threshold exceedances of emerging nitrosamines and nitramines. Reduction of alcoholamine emissions is urgently recommended. During the transportation of CO2, humans are endangered of poisoning with hazardous CO2-concentrations in case of accidents, e.g. pipeline rupture or blowout of injection wells. It should be noticed that medical care cannot be guaranteed in occurrence of mass intoxications. Leakages of storage formations can result in CO2-accumulations in basements of not regularly vented buildings and have the potential to exceed thresholds in the worst-case. Natural storage analogues showed associations between underground degassing of CO2 and lung carcinogenic radon. This causes concern, if the process can be verified for actual storage sites. Concerning induced contaminations, simulations demonstrated that displaced arsenic and lead have the greatest potential for exceedance of drinking water thresholds. Conclusion: Despite the fact that many risks can be decreased by proper risk mitigation measures and careful storage site selection, there is an urgent demand to investigate in contaminations, acute emergency management and risk assessment. More data are required to establish CCS technology



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Hillebrand,M. / Pflugmacher,S. / Hahn,A.: Toxicological risk assessment in carbon capture and storage technology. 2013.


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