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Assessment of CO2 health risk in indoor air following a leakage reaching unsaturated zone: results from the first representative scale experiment

Abstract : Leakage of CO2 from geological reservoirs is one of the most fearsome unexpected scenarios for CO2 storage activities. If a leakage reaches the ground level, exposure to high CO2 concentrations is more likely to occur in low ventilated spaces (pit dug in the ground, basement, building) where CO2 could accumulate to high concentrations. Significant literature and models about indoor exposure resulting from intrusion of soils gases in building are available in several domains (e.g., contaminated soils, radon, etc.). However, there is no guarantee that those approaches are appropriate for the assessment of consequences of CO2 leakage due the specificity of CO2 and due to the singularities of the source in case of leakage from anthropic reservoirs. Furthermore, another singularity compared to conventional approaches is that the risk due to CO2 exposure should be evaluated considering acute concentrations rather than long term exposure to low concentrations. Thus, a specific approach is needed to enable a quantitative assessment of the risk for health and living in indoor environment in case of leakage from a reservoir reaching the unsaturated zone below the buildings. We present the results of the IMPACT-CO2 project that aims at understanding the possible migration of CO2 to indoor environment and to develop an approach to evaluate the risks. The approach is based on modelling and experiments at laboratory scale and at field representative scale. The aim of the experiment is to capture the main phenomena that control the migration of CO2 through unsaturated zone, and its intrusion and accumulation in buildings. The experimental results will also enable numerical confrontation with tools used for risk assessment. Experiments at representative scale (Figure 1) are performed on the PISCO2 platform (Ponferrada, Spain) specifically instrumented and designed for understanding the impacts of CO2 migration towards the soil surface. The experiment is composed of a 2.2 m deep basin filled with sand upon which a specifically designed cylindrical device representing the indoor condition of a building (with controlled depressurization and ventilation) is set up. The device includes a calibrated interface that represents a cracked slab of a building. The injection of CO2 is performed at the bottom of the basin with a flow rate in the range of hundreds of g/d/m². The first results show that the presence of a building influences significantly the transport of CO2 in the surrounding soil leading to two competing phenomena: 1) seepage in the atmosphere mainly controlled by diffusion gradient and 2) advective/diffusive flux entering the building due to the depressurization. Models have been established to quantitatively assess the proportion of CO2
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Contributeur : Thomas Le Guénan <>
Soumis le : vendredi 8 juillet 2016 - 16:37:53
Dernière modification le : jeudi 18 juin 2020 - 11:25:42


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  • HAL Id : hal-01343570, version 1



Loschetter Annick, Louis de Lary de Latour, Fidel Grandia, E. Powaga, B. Collignan, et al.. Assessment of CO2 health risk in indoor air following a leakage reaching unsaturated zone: results from the first representative scale experiment. 13th Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies (GHGT-13), Nov 2016, Lausanne, Switzerland. 2016. ⟨hal-01343570⟩