Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Fu Zhao

Second Advisor

Loring Nies

Committee Member 1

Suresh Rao

Committee Member 2

Andres Clarens


Most power generation in the United States is derived from the combustion of fossil fuels, primarily coal and natural gas. As a result, greenhouse gases (GHGs) are generated, and they act to trap radiant heat from the Earth. When GHGs are discussed, attention is usually concentrated on carbon dioxide (CO2) because it is believed to be the most manageable anthropogenic GHG. Therefore, introducing new technologies, primarily those which deal with CO2 capture and storage, is seen as a potential option for managing GHGs. Oil and gas reservoirs, saline formations, and un-mineable coal beds are examples of underground CO2 storage sites. In the United States, it has been estimated that these sites together have the potential capacity to store the country’s CO2 emissions for the next 500 years. For this reason, carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) has become a very attractive approach by several industries, including the coal-fired power industry, to reduce their GHG emissions. However, the implementation of CCS on a broad scale will require an enormous input of resources and energy, which will be used during the CCS production, installation, and operation phases. The eventual result of this implementation will be an increased demand for fuel, which in turn will lead to further