The Design of an Integrated Informatics System
for Digital Monitoring, Management and
Information of Social Partners Regarding the Safety of CO2 Storage
Gabriel Vladut1* and Dimitrios Mendrinos2
1Sedona srl, Stefan cel Mare str. No 12, 200130, Craiova, Romania
2Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving, 19km Marathonos ave, 19009 Pikermi, Greece
Submission: August 08, 2022; Published: August 18, 2022
*Corresponding author: Gabriel Vladut, Sedona srl, Stefan cel Mare str. No 12, 200130, Craiova, Romania
How to cite this article: G. Vladut, D Mendrinos. The Design of an Integrated Informatics System for Digital Monitoring, Management and Information of
Social Partners Regarding the Safety of CO2 Storage. Ann Rev Resear. 2022; 7(5): 555722. DOI: 10.19080/ARR.2022.07.555722
The two authors are involved in a project, DigiMon “Digital monitoring of CO2 storage” which aims to create a configurable, hierarchical, distributed monitoring system for CO2 storage that will ensure safety in exploitation. The overall objective of the DigiMon project is to accelerate the development of an affordable, intelligent, flexible and society-integrated digital monitoring early warning system for monitoring CO2 geological storage reservoirs. The objectives are to develop and combine distributed fiber optic sensing technology, seismic point sensors and gravimetry with Ethernet-based digital communications and web-based intelligent real-time data processing software with social partner risk information potential in the area. Decision Support Systems (DSS) supports the choice of concept and solution, assisting the decision-maker in organizing information, modeling results and making decisions as an operator guide. The concept proposed by DSS aims, based on a system structure, to provide help in formulating alternatives, accessing data, developing models and interpreting their results. The social partners that must be informed are defined by the legislation of each country and have a role in monitoring environmental risk situations and crisis management.
This paper explores how the research outcomes of the DigiMon project would fit into a DSS approach using information technology (SCADA system) and presents the system concept, the component blocks and their role.
Keywords: Carbon Capture System; CO2 geological storage; Digital Monitoring; SCADA system; Social partners
Abbreviations: DSS: Decision Support Systems; CCS: Carbon Capture and Storage; MMV: Measurement, monitoring, simulation and verification; TRL: Technological readiness levels; DAS: Distributed Acoustic Sensing; ANI: Ambient noise interferometry; SCADA: supervisory control and data acquisition
The goal of DigiMon project is to develop and combine distributed fiber optic detection technology, seismic point sensors and gravimetry with Ethernet-based digital communications and web-based intelligent real-time data processing software. The system will be flexible and configurable in terms of the environment (offshore or onshore) correlated with the new components provided by the development of existing technology on the market. The key functions of any Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Monitoring System are measurement, monitoring, simulation and verification (MMV), as well as management of information that must demonstrate that projects are planned and executed in a socially and environmentally acceptable manner. A CCS system should be profit able in operation, ensuring the safety and security of people and data and will have a special focus on communication and dissemination of knowledge to decision-makers (internal and external to the exploitation) and the local public (from the impact area). The project involves the development and integration of system components, available at the highest technological readiness levels (TRL). Its objective is to develop the system components to a uniformly high TRL, prior to the integration of the components into the early warning system. One of the most critical R&D challenges central to the project is the integration of a wide range of technologies for MMV at CO2 storage sites (i.e. distributed fiber optic sensing (DxS) technology, seismic point sensors, seafloor pressure and gravimetry).
Combined with Internet and Ethernet-based digital communication
and web-based real-time intelligent data processing
software, the project presents a novel, cost-effective early warning
solution for monitoring CO2 geological storage reservoirs and
underground CO2 barrier systems (caprock). In addition, it takes
into account, in a unique and integrated way, the need to monitor
technologies for CCS from the point of view of society’s acceptance,
up to the limit of the impact zone, of maintaining safety and
trust and of the benefit in operation. Such a system is desired by
the CCS industry and other industries that exploit underground or
chemical resources. For this purpose, a strong, interdisciplinary
international consortium was established with leading research
institutions and industry representatives from Norway, the Netherlands,
Germany, United Kingdom, the USA, Romania and Greece,
supported by implementing partners, with expertise in the field.
This paper will explore the system concept and the block components
of the system that will assure the necessary functions.
From a technological point of view, the CCS chain consists of three
parts: capture of carbon dioxide, transport of carbon dioxide and
safe storage of carbon dioxide emissions, underground, in depleted
oil and gas fields or in deep salt formations. First, capture technologies
allow the separation of carbon dioxide from gases produced
in electricity generation and industrial processes through
one of three methods: pre-combustion capture, post-combustion
capture and oxygen with fuel combustion. The carbon dioxide is
then transported by pipeline or by ship for safe storage. Millions of
tons of carbon dioxide are already transported annually for commercial
purposes, by tanks mounted on trucks or train, ships and
pipelines. The United States has several decades of experience in
transporting carbon dioxide through pipelines for oil recovery and
Carbon dioxide is then stored in storage spaces, made up of
carefully selected geological rocks, which are usually located a
few kilometers below the earth’s surface. At every point in the
CCS chain, from production to storage, the industry has a number
of process technologies that are well monitored, managed and
known and have excellent records of population health and safety.
The commercial development of CCS involves the widespread
adoption of these CCS methodologies and techniques, combined
with robust monitoring techniques and government regulations.
CCS is a technology for combating climate change in a controllable
way, delivering economic growth and regional prosperity. The industry
already has the skills and experience and has the solutions
and technologies to provide CCS safely. CCS is one of a number of
technologies needed to combat climate change, including renewable
energy, nuclear energy and energy efficiency.
CO2 storage in geological reservoirs is a key component of
most strategies to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
CO2 is captured at emitters, such as power plants, and is injected
through deep drilling holes in subsurface storage reservoirs (carbon capture and storage - CCS). A number of measurements, monitoring and verification (MMV) strategies can be used to ensure
that CO2 remains in place. As a regulatory requirement, MMV
plans must demonstrate Compliance (that models are aligned
with monitoring data), verify Content (be able to ensure that there
are no leaks), and provide Contingency plans (taking corrective
action in in case of a leak) for CO2 storage projects. A number of
demonstration and commercial CO2 storage projects have shown
that CCS is technically feasible. However, this operation needs to
be implemented at 1,000 sites if it is to be an effective tool for reducing
The overall goal is to demonstrate the commercial availability
of a digital monitoring system that is suitable for cost-effective and
socially accepted CO2 storage MMV.
The system will focus on:
i. Monitoring the movement of CO2 plume within the reservoir
using mainly remote passive geophysical measurements and
modeling saturation and pressure changes (compliance monitoring).
ii. Monitoring the integrity of the well, mainly by detecting
downward pressure, temperature and rock tension (monitoring of
retention and contingency).
iii. Overload (caprock) monitoring, including monitoring of
CO2 migration from the upper area and early detection of anomalies
(retention and emergency monitoring).
Public support is vital for the development of CO2 storage projects.
Lack of public support weakens political support, reduces
deployment and accessibility, and may require alternative technological
configurations and risk management practices (Watson et
al 2014), The lack of political support has already hindered the
deployment of CCS in some countries (Raven et al 2016), Specific
projects have also been cancelled due to local public opposition,
for example in Barendrecht, the Netherlands (Cuppen et al 2015)
and Beeskow in Germany (Dütschke, 2011). Public opposition is
sometimes explained as a lack of knowledge or misunderstanding
about the planned CO2 storage projects (Susskind 2010). Local
communities may also resist a project because of the direct visual,
environmental and socio-economic impact (Petrova 2016) or
because the project does not match the culture of the local place
(Devine-Wright & Batel 2017). However, in many cases, it is not a
lack of knowledge, but a lack of trust in systemic issues, so stakeholders
simply do not believe what they are told. The goal in the
societal research in DigiMon was to identify which societal requirements
could be included in the design and implementation
strategies of a CCS monitoring system. Although such a monitoring
system could help alleviate local communities’ concerns about any
potential impact, the support of these communities for the project
is based primarily on the equitable distribution of costs and bene fits, the correct decision-making process and the building of trust in developers and governing authorities (Van Engelenburg & Puts,
2015) and also on clarifying what are the possible benefits for the
Previous infrastructure and energy projects show that not only
the involvement of all relevant stakeholders in the decision-making
process is crucial, but also how different perspectives, conflicting
interests and concerns are considered in the design of the
project in time (Puts & Rinjveld 2011; Duijn et al 2013). Moreover,
research in the sociology of ignorance has shown that clear communication
of uncertainties and knowledge gaps and even insignificant
results can increase trust in an organization and technology,
as long as the arguments brought to the public are perceived
to be honest and congruent with deduced motives of the organization
or scientists involved cf. (Maxim and Mansier 2014). Despite
all these perspectives on the social factors influencing the success
of the development and implementation of CO2 storage projects,
research has also shown that in the transition to low-carbon energy
systems, technological change, rather than social change, is a
priority constantly in debates. The political attraction of CCS as an
important approach to climate change mitigation shows the trend
towards technological optimism and how the promises of technological
corrections have dominated the political discourse around
climate mitigation. This is also linked to the fact that, in public
discourse, the real impact of a possible leakage of CO2 from a geological
storage reservoir is often perceived uniformly as a highrisk
impact. However, the impact of different leak scenarios and
the real danger to health and the environment is highly variable.
Breaking high-pressure pipelines can lead to fatal explosions or
clouds of suffocating gas, while an underground release of CO2 can
lead to the release of less CO2 at slow speeds into the atmosphere,
but with little or no human impact.
Today’s public perception suggests all the above cases as detrimental
to the operator’s reputation. An approach focused only
on communicating the benefits of monitoring to the public is unlikely
to encourage project support (Seigo et al 2011). Previous research
programs on mining have found that the participation of all
relevant stakeholders and the consideration of their perceptions,
interests, questions and concerns about a project or technology
are key factors for the integration of new energy technologies in
society and promote procedural justice, trust and confidence, in
project developers and government authorities and public support
for the project (Duijn & Puts 2013).
Societal embeddedness of a CCS monitoring system is characterized
by 4 dimensions, which are the impact on environment,
stakeholder involvement, policies and regulations, and market
and financial resources (Geerdink et. al., 2020 and Sprenkeling et.
al. 2022a). In terms of monitoring aspects, they are translated as
a) Towards reducing or preventing CCS environmental impact
b) Towards engaging organizations or individuals involved
or affected by CCS
c) Towards developing and complying with CCS policies and regulations
d) Towards mobilizing market and financial resources for
The challenge is to create an informatics SCADA system that
integrates all the facilities.
Assessments for CCS were performed during the DigiMon project
at National level for Norway, Netherlands, Germany and Greece
(Mendrinos et. al., 2021 and 2022), at local level for present and
future CCS sites in above countries (Sprenkeling et al., 2022b), as
well as for the identification of monitoring requirements derived
from the national and local SEL assessments (Otto et al., 2022).
The results indicated that monitoring currently is a regulatory requirement
as part of permitting procedures, which may alleviate
community concerns on safety. In order to effectively contribute
to trust-building among stakeholders, a CCS monitoring system
should be low cost, efficient and easy to maintain over a long time,
measure and predict leakages and plume movement, transparent,
allowing real-time access to monitoring data, provide continuously
reliable access to experts for questions on the data, externally
supervised by unbiased institutions and connected to a safety
concept that states what happens when the data divert from normality.
Insights from the local assessments indicate that monitoring
is perceived as useful towards ensuring site safety, protecting
groundwater resources, safeguarding the environment, minimizing
the possibility of induced seismicity, identifying possible leakage,
and providing information on CO2 emissions reductions.
The relevance of developed CCS monitoring technology components
to societal aspects are graphically summarized in Figure
Technological developments are all directly related to the environmental
dimension of the societal embeddedness, by providing
cost efficient methods to monitor and reduce the impact to the
environment of CO2 geological storage. The instrument response
and site response determination, as well as the development of
processing techniques for micro seismic data of a Distributed
Acoustic Sensing (DAS) system allows recordings to be converted
to velocity in a similar way to the conventional methods used
for geophones. This permits a DAS fibre-optic system to map the
subsurface seismic velocity field in a geological storage site. The
evolution of seismic velocity field over time can provide an image
of CO2 plume location and expansion, as well as an early warning
of potential CO2 migration in the water table or potential leakages
at the sea floor or ground surface. 4D seismic can provide qualitative
information on the outline of the CO2 plume. DAS advantage
is their low cost, the ability to cover a wide area with continuous
measurement sampling (e.g. every meter) and time lapse (4-D) recordings,
while the corresponding equipment (fiber and electronics)
can be installed on permanent basis within wells, sea-floor or
The application of DAS fibre-optic in ambient noise interferometry
(ANI) surveys further expands available options in this aspect.
For the purposes of monitoring CO2 storage sites using DAS,
ambient noise interferometry (ANI) has the potential to provide
cost-effective, repeatable measurements for early warning of leakage.
Potentially fiber-optics combined with ANI could offer wireline
operation free, permanent CO2 storage monitoring capability.
The development of instrumentation, data processing, modelling
and visualization tools of the novel SV seismic waves generating
source, allows the use of DAS fiber-optics for cross well
seismic velocity tomography. Cross well seismic velocity tomography
in essence provides direct calibration to depth of seismic
surveys, making possible CO2 plume mapping and its evolution at
depths greater than 400 m, where seismic velocity calculations
accuracy from surface recordings alone drops below the level
required to identify velocity changes related to CO2 movement.
Cross-well seismic experiments could be enhanced or made more
cost effective by a distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) fiber. The development
of a new fiber for CO2 detection and testing it via laboratory
and field experiments coupled to modelling CO2 diffusion
in fiber, allow direct detection of CO2 leakages in the environment.
This is particularly important for monitoring well integrity, which
can provide early warning for an incoming well failure and potential
CO2 leaking through it. The development of data acquisition
techniques and processing software for a time lapse microgravity
survey provide another accurate and cost-efficient method
for subsurface CO2 plume mapping and evolution, by defining the
subsurface density distribution. Coupling with a distributed strain
sensing (DSS) fiber-optic system will provide a cost-efficient mapping
of seafloor or ground surface deformation and the necessary
calibration to the density data. 4D gravity is valuable to quantify
the mass changes within the reservoir, the density of the CO2
plume and thereby the fraction of dissolved CO2 in the reservoir
i. Integration of the constituent subsystems of the DigiMon
system in a coherent and unitary informatics system aiming to ensure
the functions proposed by the project
ii. Elaboration of the structure of an IT system for increasing
the safety in operation in units subject to technological risk
iii. To define a communication system between the sensors
/ equipment’s situated in the technological field and the control
iv. To set the sub-systems and the functions they assure
v. Elaboration of the structure for IT system to communicate
with social partners
vi. Homogenization of information between the social part ners interested in the system
A standard system and variants (minimum and maximum)
with the possibility of integration in stages will be designed. We
proposed a modular, configurable, distributed and open system
for monitoring and control of the technological process, monitoring
the utilities and informing the decision and information factors
(inside and outside the technological unit), in a format specific
to the attributions and the workplace. The monitoring system
can be adapted and extended in successive stages and interfaced
with applications so as to cover the requirements of a security and
emergency response system, operating in conditions of technological
risk. In order to control the technological process, the industrial
management, in safe conditions in operation on the Technological
Platform, it is necessary to interconnect the SCADA type
subsystems in a unique system of acquisition, processing, monitoring
and data transmissions to form the basis for the Intranet
of the Technological Platform. Through this approach, the unitary
vision of the concepts of technological risk, industrial safety, accident
prevention through real-time monitoring of the technological
process is realized.
The subsystems we want to integrate in the unitary, coherent
SCADA system are:
a) DAS subsystem
b) Seismic tomography
c) DCS for CO2 leakage monitoring
d) 4D gravity and seafloor subsidence data acquisition system
e) Seafloor pressure sensing or DSS for seafloor deformation
f) Modelling framework at CCS sites
g) Technology Platform Monitoring
h) Risk analysis, simulation and management
i) Informing social partners
The structure of the functional blocks of the informatics system
is shown in Figure 3.
We connect the technological challenges with the social factors
that determine to which extent CO2 storage projects will fit
into their societal environment. The DigiMon project therefore
researched how monitoring can be used as a risk management instrument.
A key question is whether the monitoring system developed
during this project can be a tool for improving the implementation
of CCS projects. The research also included what conditions
for monitoring are included in current regulatory frameworks, what type of monitoring approaches can be used to best communicate possible risks to different stakeholder groups (including a
concerned public), and how does an all-in-one system as developed
in DigiMon influence public understanding, acceptance, and
trust. The social partners who need to be informed are defined
by the legislation of each country and have a role in monitoring
environmental risk situations and management in crisis situations.
The social partners could include the pertinent Inspectorate
responsible for Civil Protection and the pertinent Inspectorate
responsible for Environmental Protection. Data obtained by acquisition
and processing, from transducers and sensors as well
as data characterizing the evolution of the subsurface CO2 plume,
or the potential evolution of the gas cloud in case of leakage, are
transmitted specifically to the social decision makers. In case of
accident, these data are presented on the map of the region highlighting:
the place of the accident, estimating the amount of gas
escaped, weather parameters in the immediate vicinity of the outbreak,
estimating the shape of the cloud and its speed, highlighting
possible scenarios and intervention measures.
The necessary information, which is transmitted, is:
i. The quantity of gases emitted into the atmosphere
ii. Framing between technological limits of operation
iii. Wind direction and intensity
iv. The evolution of the gas cloud superimposed on the map
of the region
The system allows the detection and modelling of accidental
gas discharges that may occur in the vicinity of technological installations,
a) Detection and surveillance of gas discharges in the vicinity
of technological installations
b) Monitoring of METEO parameters in the meteorologically
c) Gas cloud modelling based on both real-time data taken
from subsystems and performance algorithms for modelling and
estimating cloud evolution.
d) Remote reporting of information to decision-makers inside
and outside the unit (informing the social partners) in order
to make optimal decisions.
Reliable measurement and prediction of subsurface CO2
plume movement are very important features of the CO2 storage
management system. They can be achieved by developing a
continually updated reservoir model, which will also allow early
warning of possible undesired incidents. Combining different
monitoring methods, data and models will further improve monitoring
and early warning reliability. Continuous monitoring can
be achieved with the aid of a software monitoring program. A near real-time monitoring and alarm system is necessary accompanied by weighting awakening, alarm and risk levels. Autonomous operation
would lead to cost reduction, but it should be under human
supervision, onsite or remote.
Passive monitoring methods provide an environmentally
friendly low-cost alternative to active monitoring methods. Identified
I. Between environmental impact and costs, where caution
is required to avoid activation of local community, and
II. Between environmental impact and precision measurements,
where priority should be given to the latter.
The international project DigiMon aims to create a monitoring
configurable informatics system for CO2 geological storage sites,
which can accelerate the implementation of Carbon Capture
and Sequestration projects and to demonstrate the commercial
availability of a digital monitoring system that is suitable for
cost-effective and socially accepted CO2 storage MMV. One of
DigiMon’s goals is to find out if and how these CCS monitoring
systems can help alleviate local communities’ concerns about any
impact through informing social partners. The other goal is to
mitigate the risk by keeping the installations within technological
limits, and to provide information to decision makers for optimal
decision making. The security of legacy supervisory control
and data acquisition (SCADA) systems has come under intense
scrutiny as a result of homeland security initiatives being put in
place to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure. Data obtained
by acquisition and processing, from transducers and sensors
as well as data characterizing the evolution of the subsurface
CO2 plume, or the potential evolution of the gas cloud in case of
leakage, are transmitted specifically to social decision makers.
In case of accident, these data are presented on the map of the
region highlighting: the place of the accident, estimating the
amount of gas escaped, weather parameters in the immediate
vicinity of the outbreak, estimating the shape of the cloud and its
speed, highlighting possible scenarios and intervention measures.
The system developed within the Digi Mon project is open and
hierarchical, flexible and configurable and meets all technological,
management and social requirements.
Dobriceanu M, Bitoleanu A, Vladut G (2006) Automated Monitoring System for Environment Quality in Industrial Areas; International Symposium on Power Electronics, Electrical Drives, Automation and Motion – SPEEDAM 2006, May 23-26, 2006, Taormina (Sicily)- ITALY.
Otto D, Sprenkeling M, Peuchen R, Nordø ÅD, Mendrinos D, et al. (2022) On the Organisation of Translation - An Inter - and Transdisciplinary Approach to Developing Design Options for CO2 Storage Monitoring Systems. Energies 15(15): 5678.
Petrova M (2016) From NIMBY to acceptance: Toward a novel framework - VESPA - For organizing and interpreting community concerns, Renewable Energy 86: 1280-1294.
Puts H, Rijnveld M (2011) Ruimte voor kleine verhalen in planprocessen van de toekomst: kennismediation biedt perspectief’, PlanDag 2011: Planning van de toekomst, Brussel.
Vladut G (2022) Integrated informatics system structure for digital monitoring of the CO2 storage, FOREN 2022, Energy transition needs regional cooperation, 12-15 June 2022, Costinesti, Romania.
Vladut G (2022) System functions and informatic programs for integrated digital monitoring of CO2 storage. Open Access Journal of Biogeneric Science and Research 12(1).
Vladut G, Mateescu M, Sbirna LS, Sbirna S (2010) Mathematical model proposed for simulating the influence on air quality of the three ash dumps that affect Craiova, Romania, IEE-ICSTC 2010, 14th International Conference on System Theory and Control, Sinaia, Romania, October 17-19, 2010, ISSN 2068-0465, Typography Univ. din Craiova pp. 568-571.
Zelek C, Geisbrecht R, Grant T, Goudarzi L, Callahan K, Babiuch W (2012) NEMS-CTS: A Model and Framework for Comprehensive Assessment of CCS and Infrastructure, In Carbon Management Technology Conference, OnePetro.