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Energy and Environment Directorate

Christopher Thompson

Christopher Thompson

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352
(509) 371-7145


Chris Thompson is a senior research scientist and team lead for the Characterization and Remediation Team in the Subsurface Science and Technology Group. He has over 25 years of research experience in the field of environmental chemistry. Since joining PNNL in 1994, his work has focused primarily on groundwater and sediment characterization at complex waste sites. He has extensive experience with standard methods for chemical analysis, and he currently manages the Environmental Sciences Laboratory, an in-house analytical center that serves a variety of research projects at PNNL. Dr. Thompson also conducts basic research on the interactions of high-pressure fluids with sediments to better understand the geochemical processes associated with carbon sequestration and enhanced oil and gas recovery. These investigations utilize novel instrument platforms that enable in situ spectroscopic monitoring of interfacial phenomena at temperatures and pressures relevant to subsurface environments.

Research Interests

  • Fate and Transport of Environmental Contaminants
  • Geologic Carbon Sequestration
  • Infrared and Near-Infrared Spectroscopy
  • Supercritical Fluid Technology
  • Software Development (C++, C#, MATLAB, Python) and Data Acquisition

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D., Analytical Chemistry, University of Washington
  • M.S., Analytical Chemistry, University of Washington
  • B.S., Chemistry, James Madison University

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Chemical Society

Awards and Recognitions

  • PNNL Outstanding Performance Awards (10)

PNNL Publications


  • Miller Q., D.A. Dixon, S.D. Burton, E.D. Walter, D.W. Hoyt, A.S. Mcneill, and J. Moon, et al. 2019. "Surface-Catalyzed Oxygen Exchange during Mineral Carbonation in Nanoscale Water Films." Journal of Physical Chemistry C 123, no. 20:12871-12885. PNNL-SA-141756. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b02215


  • Loring J.S., Q. Miller, C.J. Thompson, and H.T. Schaef. 2018. "Experimental studies of reactivity and transformations of rocks and minerals in water-bearing supercritical CO2." In Science of Carbon Storage in Deep Saline Formations: Process Coupling Across Time and Spatial Scales, edited by P. Newell and A.G. Ilgen. 63-88. Cambridge, Massachusetts:Elsevier. PNNL-SA-129113. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-812752-0.00004-6
  • Miller Q., E.S. Ilton, O. Qafoku, D.A. Dixon, M. Vasiliu, C.J. Thompson, and H.T. Schaef, et al. 2018. "Water Structure Controls Carbonic Acid Formation in Adsorbed Water Films." Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 9, no. 17:4988-4994. PNNL-SA-136469. doi:10.1021/acs.jpclett.8b02162
  • Rockhold M.L., F.A. Spane, T.W. Wietsma, D.R. Newcomer, R.E. Clayton, D.I. Demirkanli, and D.L. Saunders, et al. 2018. Physical and Hydraulic Properties of Sediments from the 200-DV-1 Operable Unit. PNNL-27846. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.


  • Li M., Y. Gao, W. Qian, L. Shi, Y. Liu, W.C. Nelson, and C.D. Nicora, et al. 2017. "Targeted quantification of functional enzyme dynamics in environmental samples for microbially mediated biogeochemical processes." Environmental Microbiology Reports 9, no. 5:512-521. PNNL-SA-120732. doi:10.1111/1758-2229.12558
  • Liu Y., C. Liu, W.C. Nelson, L. Shi, F. Xu, Y. Liu, and A. Yan, et al. 2017. "Effect of Water Chemistry and Hydrodynamics on Nitrogen Transformation and Microbial Community Functional Potential in Hyporheic Zone Sediment Columns." Environmental Science & Technology 51, no. 9:4877-4886. PNNL-SA-121316. doi:10.1021/acs.est.6b05018
  • McGrail B.P., H.T. Schaef, F.A. Spane, J.A. Horner, A.T. Owen, J.B. Cliff, and O. Qafoku, et al. 2017. "Wallula Basalt Pilot Demonstration Project: Post-Injection Results and Conclusions." Energy Procedia 114. PNNL-SA-121381. doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2017.03.1716


  • Bryce D.A., H. Shao, K.J. Cantrell, and C.J. Thompson. 2016. "Determination of Organic Partitioning Coefficients in Water-Supercritical CO2 Systems by Simultaneous In Situ UV and Near-Infrared Spectroscopies." Environmental Science & Technology 50, no. 11:5766-5773. PNNL-SA-115938. doi:10.1021/acs.est.6b00641
  • Burant A.S., C.J. Thompson, G. Lowry, and A. Karamalidis. 2016. "New Linear Partitioning Models based on Experimental Water - Supercritical CO2 Partitioning Data of Selected Organic Compounds." Environmental Science & Technology 50, no. 10:5135-5142. PNNL-SA-115937. doi:10.1021/acs.est.6b00301


  • Loring J.S., J. Chen, P. Benezeth Ep Gisquet, O. Qafoku, E.S. Ilton, N.M. Washton, and C.J. Thompson, et al. 2015. "Evidence for Carbonate Surface Complexation during Forsterite Carbonation in Wet Supercritical Carbon Dioxide." Langmuir 31, no. 27:7533-7543. PNNL-SA-110896. doi:10.1021/acs.langmuir.5b01052
  • Loring J.S., J. Chen, P. Benezeth, O. Qafoku, E.S. Ilton, N.M. Washton, and C.J. Thompson, et al. 2015. "Evidence for Carbonate Surface Complexation during Forsterite Carbonation in Wet Supercritical Carbon Dioxide." Langmuir 31, no. 27:7533-7543. PNNL-SA-109630. doi:10.1021/acs.langmuir.5b01052
  • Schaef H.T., J.S. Loring, V.A. Glezakou, Q.R. Miller, J. Chen, A.T. Owen, and M. Lee, et al. 2015. "Competitive Sorption of CO2 and H2O in 2:1 Layer Phyllosilicates." Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 16. PNNL-SA-101900. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2015.03.027
  • Yan S., Y. Liu, C. Liu, L. Shi, J. Shang, H. Shan, and J.M. Zachara, et al. 2015. "Nitrate bioreduction in redox-variable low permeability sediments." Science of the Total Environment 539. PNNL-SA-105761. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.08.122


  • Dang X., J. Scotcher, S. Wu, R.K. Chu, N. Tolic, I. Ntai, and P. Thomas, et al. 2014. "The first pilot project of the consortium for top-down proteomics: A status report." Proteomics 14, no. 10:1130-1140. PNNL-SA-102713. doi:10.1002/pmic.201300438
  • Loring J.S., E.S. Ilton, J. Chen, C.J. Thompson, P.F. Martin, P. Benezeth, and K.M. Rosso, et al. 2014. "In Situ Study of CO2 and H2O Partitioning Between Na-Montmorillonite and Variably Wet Supercritical Carbon Dioxide." Langmuir 30, no. 21:6120-6128. PNNL-SA-101130. doi:10.1021/la500682t
  • McGrail B.P., F.A. Spane, J.E. Amonette, C.J. Thompson, and C.F. Brown. 2014. "Injection and Monitoring at the Wallula Basalt Pilot Project." Energy Procedia 63. PNNL-SA-107959. doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2014.11.316
  • Schaef H.T., C.L. Davidson, A.T. Owen, Q.R. Miller, J.S. Loring, C.J. Thompson, and D.H. Bacon, et al. 2014. "CO2 Utilization and Storage in Shale Gas Reservoirs: Experimental Results and Economic Impacts." Energy Procedia 63. PNNL-SA-105772. doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2014.11.819
  • Schaef H.T., J.A. Horner, A.T. Owen, C.J. Thompson, J.S. Loring, and B.P. McGrail. 2014. "Mineralization of Basalts in the CO2-H2O-SO2-O2 System." Environmental Science & Technology 48, no. 9:5298-5305. PNNL-SA-98605. doi:10.1021/es404964j
  • Thompson C.J., P.F. Martin, J. Chen, P. Benezeth, H.T. Schaef, K.M. Rosso, and A.R. Felmy, et al. 2014. "Automated High-Pressure Titration System with In Situ Infrared Spectroscopic Detection." Review of Scientific Instruments 85, no. 4:Article No. 044102. PNNL-SA-101170. doi:10.1063/1.4870411


  • Fountain M.S., S.K. Fiskum, D.L. Baldwin, R.C. Daniel, S.J. Bos, C.A. Burns, and C.D. Carlson, et al. 2013. Characterization Data Package for Containerized Sludge Samples Collected from Engineered Container SCS-CON-210. PNNL-20650 Rev. 2. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Characterization Data Package for Containerized Sludge Samples Collected from Engineered Container SCS-CON-210
  • Loring J.S., H.T. Schaef, C.J. Thompson, R.V. Turcu, Q.R. Miller, J. Chen, and J.Z. Hu, et al. 2013. "Clay hydration/dehydration in dry to water-saturated supercritical CO2: Implications for caprock integrity." Energy Procedia 37. PNNL-SA-91508. doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2013.06.463
  • Miller Q., C.J. Thompson, J.S. Loring, C.F. Windisch, M.E. Bowden, D.W. Hoyt, and J.Z. Hu, et al. 2013. "Insights into Silicate Carbonation Processes in Water-Bearing Supercritical CO2 Fluids." International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 15. PNNL-SA-89916. doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2013.02.005
  • Schaef H.T., Q. Miller, C.J. Thompson, J.S. Loring, M.E. Bowden, B.W. Arey, and B.P. McGrail, et al. 2013. "Silicate Carbonation in Supercritical CO2 Containing Dissolved H2O: An in situ High Pressure X-Ray Diffraction Study." Energy Procedia 37. PNNL-SA-85671. doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2013.06.514
  • Shao H., C.J. Thompson, and K.J. Cantrell. 2013. "Evaluation of experimentally measured and model-calculated pH for rock-brine-CO2 systems under geologic CO2 sequestration conditions." Chemical Geology 359. PNNL-SA-93472. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2013.09.021
  • Shao H., C.J. Thompson, and K.J. Cantrell. 2013. "Evaluation of Experimentally Measured and Model-Calculated pH for Rock-Brine-CO2 Systems under Geologic CO2 Sequestration Conditions." Chemical Geology 359. PNNL-SA-95769. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2013.09.021
  • Shao H., C.J. Thompson, O. Qafoku, and K.J. Cantrell. 2013. "In Situ Spectrophotometric Determination of pH under Geologic CO2 Sequestration Conditions: Method Development and Application." Environmental Science & Technology 47, no. 1:63-70. PNNL-SA-87968. doi:10.1021/es3016793
  • Thompson C.J., J.S. Loring, K.M. Rosso, and Z. Wang. 2013. "Comparative Reactivity Study of Forsterite and Antigorite in Wet Supercritical CO2 by In Situ Infrared Spectroscopy." International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 18. PNNL-SA-93361. doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2013.07.007
  • Wang Z., A.R. Felmy, C.J. Thompson, J.S. Loring, A.G. Joly, K.M. Rosso, and H.T. Schaef, et al. 2013. "Near-Infrared Spectroscopic Investigation of Water in Supercritical CO2 and the Effect of CaCl2." Fluid Phase Equilibria 338. PNNL-SA-89926. doi:10.1016/j.fluid.2012.11.012


  • Loring J.S., C.J. Thompson, C. Zhang, Z. Wang, H.T. Schaef, and K.M. Rosso. 2012. "In Situ Infrared Spectroscopic Study of Brucite Carbonation in Dry to Water-Saturated Supercritical Carbon Dioxide." The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 116, no. 19:4768-4777. PNNL-SA-86156. doi:10.1021/jp210020t
  • Loring J.S., H.T. Schaef, R.V. Turcu, C.J. Thompson, Q. Miller, P.F. Martin, and J.Z. Hu, et al. 2012. "In Situ Molecular Spectroscopic Evidence for CO2 Intercalation into Montmorillonite in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide." Langmuir 28, no. 18:7125-7128. PNNL-SA-86500. doi:10.1021/la301136w


  • Loring J.S., C.J. Thompson, Z. Wang, A.G. Joly, D.S. Sklarew, H.T. Schaef, and E.S. Ilton, et al. 2011. "In Situ Infrared Spectroscopic Study of Forsterite Carbonation in Wet Supercritical CO2." Environmental Science & Technology 45, no. 14:6204-6210. PNNL-SA-74249. doi:10.1021/es201284e


  • Riley R.G., J.E. Szecsody, D.S. Sklarew, A.V. Mitroshkov, P.M. Gent, C.F. Brown, and C.J. Thompson. 2010. "Desorption Behavior of Carbon Tetrachloride and Chloroform in contaminated Low Organic Carbon Aquifer Sediments." Chemosphere 79, no. 8:807-813. PNNL-SA-47350.


  • Huesemann M.H., T.J. Fortman, R.G. Riley, C.J. Thompson, Z. Wang, M.J. Truex, and B.M. Peyton. 2006. "Slow Desorption of Phenanthrene from Silica Particles: Influence of Pore Size, Pore Water, and Aging Time." In 20th Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, and Water: Successes and Challenges published in CONTAMINATED SOILS SEDIMENTS AND WATER, 2006, edited by Calabrase, E. J.; Kostecki, P. T.; Dragun, J., 10, 1-24. New York, New York:Springer. PNNL-SA-48083.
  • Thompson C.J., R.G. Riley, J.E. Amonette, and P.L. Gassman. 2006. "Quantification of Volatile Organics in Soil Aging Experiments Using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy." Applied Spectroscopy 60, no. 8:914-919. PNNL-SA-48221. doi:10.1366/000370206778062156



  • Riley R.G., C.J. Thompson, M.H. Huesemann, Z. Wang, B.M. Peyton, T.J. Fortman, and M.J. Truex, et al. 2001. "Artificial Aging of Phenanthrene in Porous Silicas Using Supercritical Carbon Dioxide." Environmental Science & Technology 35, no. 18:3707-3712. PNNL-SA-34512.
  • Wang Z., D. Friedrich, M.R. Beversluis, S.L. Hemmer, A.G. Joly, M.H. Huesemann, and M.J. Truex, et al. 2001. "A Fluorescence Spectroscopic Study of Phenanthrene Sorbed on Porous Silica." Environmental Science & Technology 35, no. 13:2710-2716. PNNL-SA-33334.


Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas