Fluid Dynamics of Carbon Dioxide Disposal into Saline Aquifers

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Injection of carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) into saline aquifers has been proposed as a means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (geological carbon sequestration). Large-scale injection of CO{sub 2} will induce a variety of coupled physical and chemical processes, including multiphase fluid flow, fluid pressurization and changes in effective stress, solute transport, and chemical reactions between fluids and formation minerals. This work addresses some of these issues with special emphasis given to the physics of fluid flow in brine formations. An investigation of the thermophysical properties of pure carbon dioxide, water and aqueous solutions of CO{sub 2} and NaCl has been ... continued below

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157 pages

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Garcia, Julio Enrique December 18, 2003.

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Injection of carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) into saline aquifers has been proposed as a means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (geological carbon sequestration). Large-scale injection of CO{sub 2} will induce a variety of coupled physical and chemical processes, including multiphase fluid flow, fluid pressurization and changes in effective stress, solute transport, and chemical reactions between fluids and formation minerals. This work addresses some of these issues with special emphasis given to the physics of fluid flow in brine formations. An investigation of the thermophysical properties of pure carbon dioxide, water and aqueous solutions of CO{sub 2} and NaCl has been conducted. As a result, accurate representations and models for predicting the overall thermophysical behavior of the system CO{sub 2}-H{sub 2}O-NaCl are proposed and incorporated into the numerical simulator TOUGH2/ECO{sub 2}. The basic problem of CO{sub 2} injection into a radially symmetric brine aquifer is used to validate the results of TOUGH2/ECO2. The numerical simulator has been applied to more complex flow problem including the CO{sub 2} injection project at the Sleipner Vest Field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea and the evaluation of fluid flow dynamics effects of CO{sub 2} injection into aquifers. Numerical simulation results show that the transport at Sleipner is dominated by buoyancy effects and that shale layers control vertical migration of CO{sub 2}. These results are in good qualitative agreement with time lapse surveys performed at the site. High-resolution numerical simulation experiments have been conducted to study the onset of instabilities (viscous fingering) during injection of CO{sub 2} into saline aquifers. The injection process can be classified as immiscible displacement of an aqueous phase by a less dense and less viscous gas phase. Under disposal conditions (supercritical CO{sub 2}) the viscosity of carbon dioxide can be less than the viscosity of the aqueous phase by a factor of 15. Because of the lower viscosity, the CO{sub 2} displacement front will have a tendency towards instability. Preliminary simulation results show good agreement between classical instability solutions and numerical predictions of finger growth and spacing obtained using different gas/liquid viscosity ratios, relative permeability and capillary pressure models. Further studies are recommended to validate these results over a broader range of conditions.

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157 pages

Notes

OSTI as DE00821335

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  • Other Information: TH: Thesis (Ph.D.); Submitted to the University of California, Berkeley, CA (US)

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  • Report No.: LBNL--54280
  • Grant Number: AC03-76SF00098
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 821335
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc740667

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • December 18, 2003

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  • Oct. 18, 2015, 6:40 p.m.

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  • April 4, 2016, 4:11 p.m.

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Garcia, Julio Enrique. Fluid Dynamics of Carbon Dioxide Disposal into Saline Aquifers, thesis or dissertation, December 18, 2003; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc740667/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.