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ZERT - Zero Emission Research and Technology Center - Montana State University

 ZERT is a collaborative involving US-DOE national labs (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL)) and two research universities (Montana State University (MSU) and West Virginia University (WVU)) and is directed out of Montana State University. The mission of ZERT is to investigate basic science issues relevant to geologic sequestration.
 ZERT has been responsible for modifying several US simulation codes to include CO2 specific properties. Both STOMP and TOUGH have been modified under ZERT to include reactive transport, hysteretic effects. These modified codes have been used by multiple Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships in the US to perform simulations of their injection projects. ZERT has also helped develop a systems level risk assessment simulator specifically designed to have flexible input from process level models. 
ZERT has also performed groundbreaking experiments on biofilm formation, CO2 survivability of the biofilm and the microbial community, and biomineralization under appropriate subsurface conditions in a core flow apparatus. These experiments are targeted at understanding the behaviour of microbial communities in the deep subsurface and potential use of microbial processes for leakage mitigation.
Particularly relevant to several work packages, ZERT has developed a shallow controlled release site to investigate environmental effects of CO2 seepage in the near-surface zone and to determine detection limits and efficacy of near-surface CO2 detection techniques. Experiments at this site have involved over 30 scientists from over 10 institutions deploying over 12 different detection techniques. Because of controlled flow, onset and recovery of CO2 effects can be investigated. ZERT has also identified natural analogue sites for fault and fracture leakage as well as brine intrusion and is initiating studies of these sites.