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The success of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects depend on the ability of storage sites to contain CO<sub>2</sub> thus mitigating release to the atmosphere. However, concerns about the technology have been raised in many countries and have resulted in difficulties in implementing projects (e.g. onshore storage projects in the Netherlands). These concerns usually focus on the effects of possible leakages from storage sites and the potential large-scale environmental consequences of CCS. To date, studies have focused on the physical and chemical impact of CO<sub>2</sub> in stable geological formations, with associated monitoring systems to assure that no significant leakage occurs to the surface. If leakage was to occur after formal closure of the injection site, this could be over small areas from discrete point sources, such as abandoned wells, resulting in locally high concentrations of CO<sub>2</sub> in near-surface ecosystems. Consequently, environmental impacts of localised elevated CO<sub>2</sub> on terrestrial and marine ecosystems are areas of active research (e.g. West et al, 2006<ref name="West 2006">WEST, J M, PEARCE, J, BENTHAM, M, ROCHELLE, C, MAUL, P, and LOMBARDI, S. 2006. Environmental issues, and the geological storage of CO<sub>2</sub>&nbsp;—&nbsp;a European perspective. 8th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies. Trondheim, Norway, June 2006. Elsevier.      </ref>; Beaubien et al, 2008<ref name="Beaubien 2008">BEAUBIEN, S E, KRUEGER, M, CIOTOLI, G, COOMBS, P, DICTOR, M C, LOMBARDI, S, PEARCE, J M, and WEST, J M. 2008. The impact of naturally occurring CO<sub>2</sub> gas vent on the shallow ecosystem and soil chemistry of a Mediterranean pasture (Latera, Italy). ''Int. J. Greenhouse Gas Control'', 2, 373–387.      </ref>; Maul et al, 2009<ref name="Maul 2009">MAUL, P R, BEAUBIEN, S E, BOND, A E, LIMER, L M C, LOMBARDI, S, PEARCE, J, THORNE, M, and WEST, J M. 2009. Modelling the fate of carbon dioxide in the near-surface environment at the Latera natural analogue site. ''Energy Procedia'', 1, 1879–1885.</ref>; Krüger et al, 2009<ref name="Krüger 2009">KRÜGER, M, WEST, J M, FRERICHS, J, OPPERMANN, B, DICTOR, M-C, JOULIAN, C, JONES, D, COOMBS, P, GREEN, K, PEARCE, J, MAY, F, and MOELLER, I. 2009. Ecosystem effects of elevated CO<sub>2</sub> concentrations on microbial populations at a terrestrial CO<sub>2</sub> vent at Laacher See, Germany. ''Energy Procedia'', 1, 1933–1939.</ref>; 2011<ref name="Krüger 2011">KRÜGER, M M, JONES, D, FRERICHS, J, OPPERMANN, B I, WEST, J M, COOMBS, P, GREEN, K, BARLOW, T, LISTER, B, STUTT, M, and MÖLLER, I. 2011. Effects of elevated CO<sub>2</sub> concentrations on the vegetation and microbial populations at a terrestrial CO<sub>2</sub> vent at Laacher See, Germany. ''International J. Greenhouse Gas Control'', 5, 1093–1098. [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijggc.2011.05.002 doi.org/10.1016/j.ijggc.2011.05.002].      </ref>). However a CO<sub>2</sub> storage site could also directly impact deep subsurface microbial ecosystems and biogeochemical processes.
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The success of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects depend on the ability of storage sites to contain CO<sub>2</sub> thus mitigating release to the atmosphere. However, concerns about the technology have been raised in many countries and have resulted in difficulties in implementing projects (e.g. onshore storage projects in the Netherlands). These concerns usually focus on the effects of possible leakages from storage sites and the potential large-scale environmental consequences of CCS. To date, studies have focused on the physical and chemical impact of CO<sub>2</sub> in stable geological formations, with associated monitoring systems to assure that no significant leakage occurs to the surface. If leakage was to occur after formal closure of the injection site, this could be over small areas from discrete point sources, such as abandoned wells, resulting in locally high concentrations of CO<sub>2</sub> in near-surface ecosystems. Consequently, environmental impacts of localised elevated CO<sub>2</sub> on terrestrial and marine ecosystems are areas of active research (e.g. West et al, 2006<ref name="West 2006">WEST, J M, PEARCE, J, BENTHAM, M, ROCHELLE, C, MAUL, P, and LOMBARDI, S. 2006. Environmental issues, and the geological storage of CO<sub>2</sub>&nbsp;—&nbsp;a European perspective. 8th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies. Trondheim, Norway, June 2006. Elsevier.      </ref>; Beaubien et al, 2008<ref name="Beaubien 2008">BEAUBIEN, S E, KRUEGER, M, CIOTOLI, G, COOMBS, P, DICTOR, M C, LOMBARDI, S, PEARCE, J M, and WEST, J M. 2008. The impact of naturally occurring CO<sub>2</sub> gas vent on the shallow ecosystem and soil chemistry of a Mediterranean pasture (Latera, Italy). ''Int. J. Greenhouse Gas Control'', 2, 373–387.      </ref>; Maul et al, 2009<ref name="Maul 2009">MAUL, P R, BEAUBIEN, S E, BOND, A E, LIMER, L M C, LOMBARDI, S, PEARCE, J, THORNE, M, and WEST, J M. 2009. Modelling the fate of carbon dioxide in the near-surface environment at the Latera natural analogue site. ''Energy Procedia'', 1, 1879–1885.</ref>; Krüger et al, 2009<ref name="Krüger 2009">KRÜGER, M, WEST, J M, FRERICHS, J, OPPERMANN, B, DICTOR, M-C, JOULIAN, C, JONES, D, COOMBS, P, GREEN, K, PEARCE, J, MAY, F, and MOELLER, I. 2009. Ecosystem effects of elevated CO<sub>2</sub> concentrations on microbial populations at a terrestrial CO<sub>2</sub> vent at Laacher See, Germany. ''Energy Procedia'', 1, 1933–1939.</ref>; 2011<ref name="Krüger 2011">KRÜGER, M M, JONES, D, FRERICHS, J, OPPERMANN, B I, WEST, J M, COOMBS, P, GREEN, K, BARLOW, T, LISTER, B, STUTT, M, and MÖLLER, I. 2011. Effects of elevated CO<sub>2</sub> concentrations on the vegetation and microbial populations at a terrestrial CO<sub>2</sub> vent at Laacher See, Germany. ''International J. Greenhouse Gas Control'', 5, 1093–1098. doi. 10.1016/j.iggc.2011.05.002.      </ref>). However a CO<sub>2</sub> storage site could also directly impact deep subsurface microbial ecosystems and biogeochemical processes.
  
 
It is well recognised that microbes can live in a wide range of subsurface environments where they have limited nutrient and energy supplies and exhibit very low metabolic rates (e.g. Lin et al, 2006<ref name="Lin 2006">
 
It is well recognised that microbes can live in a wide range of subsurface environments where they have limited nutrient and energy supplies and exhibit very low metabolic rates (e.g. Lin et al, 2006<ref name="Lin 2006">
LIN, L-H, WANG, P-L, RUMBLE, D, LIPPMANN-PIPKE, J, BOICE, E, PRATT, L M, SHERWOOD LOLLAR, B, BRODIE, E L, HAZEN, T C, ANDERSEN, G L, DESANTIS, T Z, MOSER, D P, KERSHAW, D, and ONSTOTT, T C. 2006. Long-term sustainability of a high-energy, low-diversity crustal biome. ''Science'', 314, 479–482.</ref>; D’Hondt et al, 2002<ref name="D’Hondt 2002">D’HONDT, S, RUTHERFORD, S, and SPIVACK, A J. 2002. Metabolic activity of subsurface life in deep-sea sediments. ''Science'', 295, 2067–2070.</ref>; West and Chilton, 1997<ref name="West 1997">WEST, J M, and CHILTON, P J. 1997. Aquifers as environments for microbiological activity. ''Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology'' 30, 147–154.</ref>). Thus it is almost certain that microbes will be found at depths considered for CO<sub>2</sub> storage and, consequently, that CO<sub>2</sub> storage sites may contain microbes that could be affected by injected CO<sub>2</sub> and any associated impurities such as NO<sub>x</sub>, SO<sub>x</sub> and H<sub>2</sub>S. Whilst it is extremely unlikely that microbes could survive exposure to super-critical CO<sub>2</sub>, many will survive and thrive in contact with the gas or dissolved phases (Morozova et al, 2010<ref name="Morozova 2010">MOROZOVA, D, WANDREY, M, ALWAI, M, ZIMMER, M, and VIETH, A. 2010. Monitoring of the microbial community composition in saline aquifers during CO<sub>2</sub> storage by fluorescence in situ hybridisation. ''International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control'', 4 (6) 981–989 ([https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijggc.2009.11.014 doi. 10.1016/j/ojggc,2009.11.014]).      </ref>). The resulting impacts of microbial activity from these reactions could be both physical (e.g. altering porosity through the production of biofilms&nbsp;—&nbsp;Coombs et al, 2010<ref name="Coombs 2010">COOMBS, P, WAGNER, D, BATEMAN, K, HARRISON, H, MILODOWSKI, A E, NOY, D, and WEST, J M. 2010. The role of biofilms in subsurface transport processes. ''Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology'', 43, 131–139.      </ref>) and chemical (e.g. changing pH, redox conditions) and may result in intracellular or extracellular mineral formation or degradation (Ehrlich, 1999; Milodowski et al, 1990<ref name="Milodowski 1990">MILODOWSKI, A E, WEST, J M, PEARCE, J M, HYSLOP, E K, BASHAM, I R, and HOOKER, P J. 1990. Uranium-mineralised microorganisms associated with uraniferous hydrocarbons in southwest Scotland. ''Nature'', 347, 465–467.      </ref>; Mitchell et al, 2009<ref name="Mitchell 2009">MITCHELL, A C, PHILLIPS, A J, HIEBERT, R, GERLACH, R, SPANGLER, L H, and CUNNINGHAM, A B. 2009. Biofilm enhanced geologic sequestration of supercritical CO<sub>2</sub>. ''International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control'', 3, 90–99.      </ref>; Tuck et al, 2006<ref name="Tuck 2006">TUCK, V A, EDYVEAN, R G J, WEST, J M, BATEMAN, K, COOMBS, P, MILODOWSKI, A E, and MCKERVEY, J A. 2006. Biologically induced clay formation in subsurface granitic environments. ''Journal of Geochemical Exploration 90'', 123–133.      </ref>). These processes could all directly impact on the physical transport of CO<sub>2</sub> and/or impurities (as a gas or dissolved in fluid) through fractures and porous media. They could also have significant implications for groundwater quality, in terms of acidification and possible dissolution of minerals and mobilisation of elements (Kharaka et al, 2006<ref name="Kharaka 2006">KHARAKA, Y K, COLE, D R, HOVORKA, S D, GUNTER, W D, KNAUSS, K G, and FREIFELD, B M. 2006. Gas-water-rock interactions in Frio Formation following CO<sub>2</sub> injection: Implications for the storage of greenhouse gases in sedimentary basins. ''Geology'', 34 (7), 577–580.</ref>), many of these reactions being known to be microbially catalysed (West et al, 2011<ref name="West 2011">WEST, J M, MCKINLEY, I G, PALUMBO-ROE, B, and ROCHELLE, C A. 2011. Potential impact of CO<sub>2</sub> storage on subsurface microbial ecosystems and implication for groundwater quality. ''Energy Procedia'', 4, 3163–3170. [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2011.02.231 doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2011.02.231].      </ref>).
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LIN, L-H, WANG, P-L, RUMBLE, D, LIPPMANN-PIPKE, J, BOICE, E, PRATT, L M, SHERWOOD LOLLAR, B, BRODIE, E L, HAZEN, T C, ANDERSEN, G L, DESANTIS, T Z, MOSER, D P, KERSHAW, D, and ONSTOTT, T C. 2006. Long-term sustainability of a high-energy, low-diversity crustal biome. ''Science'', 314, 479–482.</ref>; D’Hondt et al, 2002<ref name="D’Hondt 2002">D’HONDT, S, RUTHERFORD, S, and SPIVACK, A J. 2002. Metabolic activity of subsurface life in deep-sea sediments. ''Science'', 295, 2067–2070.</ref>; West and Chilton, 1997<ref name="West 1997">WEST, J M, and CHILTON, P J. 1997. Aquifers as environments for microbiological activity. ''Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology'' 30, 147–154.</ref>). Thus it is almost certain that microbes will be found at depths considered for CO<sub>2</sub> storage and, consequently, that CO<sub>2</sub> storage sites may contain microbes that could be affected by injected CO<sub>2</sub> and any associated impurities such as NO<sub>x</sub>, SO<sub>x</sub> and H<sub>2</sub>S. Whilst it is extremely unlikely that microbes could survive exposure to super-critical CO<sub>2</sub>, many will survive and thrive in contact with the gas or dissolved phases (Morozova et al, 2010<ref name="Morozova 2010">MOROZOVA, D, WANDREY, M, ALWAI, M, ZIMMER, M, and VIETH, A. 2010. Monitoring of the microbial community composition in saline aquifers during CO<sub>2</sub> storage by fluorescence in situ hybridisation. ''International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control'', 4 (6) 981–989 (doi. 10.1016/j/ojggc,2009.11.014).      </ref>). The resulting impacts of microbial activity from these reactions could be both physical (e.g. altering porosity through the production of biofilms&nbsp;—&nbsp;Coombs et al, 2010<ref name="Coombs 2010">COOMBS, P, WAGNER, D, BATEMAN, K, HARRISON, H, MILODOWSKI, A E, NOY, D, and WEST, J M. 2010. The role of biofilms in subsurface transport processes. ''Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology'', 43, 131–139.      </ref>) and chemical (e.g. changing pH, redox conditions) and may result in intracellular or extracellular mineral formation or degradation (Ehrlich, 1999; Milodowski et al, 1990<ref name="Milodowski 1990">MILODOWSKI, A E, WEST, J M, PEARCE, J M, HYSLOP, E K, BASHAM, I R, and HOOKER, P J. 1990. Uranium-mineralised microorganisms associated with uraniferous hydrocarbons in southwest Scotland. ''Nature'', 347, 465–467.      </ref>; Mitchell et al, 2009<ref name="Mitchell 2009">MITCHELL, A C, PHILLIPS, A J, HIEBERT, R, GERLACH, R, SPANGLER, L H, and CUNNINGHAM, A B. 2009. Biofilm enhanced geologic sequestration of supercritical CO<sub>2</sub>. ''International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control'', 3, 90–99.      </ref>; Tuck et al, 2006<ref name="Tuck 2006">TUCK, V A, EDYVEAN, R G J, WEST, J M, BATEMAN, K, COOMBS, P, MILODOWSKI, A E, and MCKERVEY, J A. 2006. Biologically induced clay formation in subsurface granitic environments. ''Journal of Geochemical Exploration 90'', 123–133.      </ref>). These processes could all directly impact on the physical transport of CO<sub>2</sub> and/or impurities (as a gas or dissolved in fluid) through fractures and porous media. They could also have significant implications for groundwater quality, in terms of acidification and possible dissolution of minerals and mobilisation of elements (Kharaka et al, 2006<ref name="Kharaka 2006">KHARAKA, Y K, COLE, D R, HOVORKA, S D, GUNTER, W D, KNAUSS, K G, and FREIFELD, B M. 2006. Gas-water-rock interactions in Frio Formation following CO<sub>2</sub> injection: Implications for the storage of greenhouse gases in sedimentary basins. ''Geology'', 34 (7), 577–580.</ref>), many of these reactions being known to be microbially catalysed (West et al, 2011<ref name="West 2011">WEST, J M, MCKINLEY, I G, PALUMBO-ROE, B, and ROCHELLE, C A. 2011. Potential impact of CO<sub>2</sub> storage on subsurface microbial ecosystems and implication for groundwater quality. ''Energy Procedia'', 4, 3163–3170. doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2011.02.231.      </ref>).
 
The potential role of microbes in CO<sub>2</sub> storage was described by West et al, (2011)<ref name="West 2011"></ref> and has been identified by the Risk Assessment network of the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas Research and Development programme (IEA-GHG, June 2011) as an area that needs to be addressed (IEA-GHG report in preparation).
 
The potential role of microbes in CO<sub>2</sub> storage was described by West et al, (2011)<ref name="West 2011"></ref> and has been identified by the Risk Assessment network of the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas Research and Development programme (IEA-GHG, June 2011) as an area that needs to be addressed (IEA-GHG report in preparation).
  
Work carried out by BGS and the Japan Atomic Energy Authority (JAEA), using BGS in-house developed apparatus, has shown that microbial processes can have profound effects on the transport properties of host rock (i.e. the movement of fluids and contaminants through the host material) relevant to radioactive waste disposal (Harrison et al, 2011<ref name="Harrison 2011">HARRISON, H, WAGNER, D, YOSHIKAWA, H, WEST, J M, MILODOWSKI, A E, SASAKI, Y, TURNER, G, LACINSKA, A, HOLYOAKE, S, HARRINGTON, J, NOY, D, COOMBS, P, BATEMAN, K, and AOKI, K. 2011. Microbiological influences on fracture surfaces of intact mudstone and the implications for geological disposal of radioactive waste. ''Mineralogical Magazine'', 75, pp.2449–2466. [https://doi.org/10.1180/minmag.2011.075.4.2449 doi: 10.1180/minmag.2011.075.4.2449].  </ref>). Recent research, performed as part of the BGS Radtran project, has examined Sherwood Sandstone samples in the context of radioactive waste disposal has also shown similar effects on the transport properties of this formation (Wragg et al, 2012<ref name="Wragg 2012">WRAGG, J, HARRISON, H, WEST, J M, and YOSHIKAWA, H. 2012. Comparison of microbiological influences on the transport properties of intact mudstone and sandstone and its relevance to the geological disposal of radioactive waste. ''Mineralogical Magazine'' 76, 3251–3259.      </ref>). This particular formation is also a potential reservoir for CO<sub>2</sub> storage in the UK.
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Work carried out by BGS and the Japan Atomic Energy Authority (JAEA), using BGS in-house developed apparatus, has shown that microbial processes can have profound effects on the transport properties of host rock (i.e. the movement of fluids and contaminants through the host material) relevant to radioactive waste disposal (Harrison et al, 2011<ref name="Harrison 2011">HARRISON, H, WAGNER, D, YOSHIKAWA, H, WEST, J M, MILODOWSKI, A E, SASAKI, Y, TURNER, G, LACINSKA, A, HOLYOAKE, S, HARRINGTON, J, NOY, D, COOMBS, P, BATEMAN, K, and AOKI, K. 2011. Microbiological influences on fracture surfaces of intact mudstone and the implications for geological disposal of radioactive waste. ''Mineralogical Magazine'', 75, pp.2449–2466. doi: 10.1180/minmag.2011.075.4.2449.  </ref>). Recent research, performed as part of the BGS Radtran project, has examined Sherwood Sandstone samples in the context of radioactive waste disposal has also shown similar effects on the transport properties of this formation (Wragg et al, 2012<ref name="Wragg 2012">WRAGG, J, HARRISON, H, WEST, J M, and YOSHIKAWA, H. 2012. Comparison of microbiological influences on the transport properties of intact mudstone and sandstone and its relevance to the geological disposal of radioactive waste. ''Mineralogical Magazine'' 76, 3251–3259.      </ref>). This particular formation is also a potential reservoir for CO<sub>2</sub> storage in the UK.
  
 
As a result of these findings, a pilot study was set up to evaluate, for the first time, the interactions between fluids saturated with CO<sub>2</sub>, Sherwood Sandstone and the microbe ''(Pseudomonas aeruginosa)'' in transport experiments, using the BGS Biological Flow Apparatus (BFA) under pressurised subsurface conditions. This report details the results from these experiments.
 
As a result of these findings, a pilot study was set up to evaluate, for the first time, the interactions between fluids saturated with CO<sub>2</sub>, Sherwood Sandstone and the microbe ''(Pseudomonas aeruginosa)'' in transport experiments, using the BGS Biological Flow Apparatus (BFA) under pressurised subsurface conditions. This report details the results from these experiments.

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