Up-Scaling Geochemical Reaction Rates for Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in Deep Saline Aquifers

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Geochemical reactions in deep subsurface environments are complicated by the consolidated nature and mineralogical complexity of sedimentary rocks. Understanding the kinetics of these reactions is critical to our ability to make long-term predictions about subsurface processes such as pH buffering, alteration in rock structure, permeability changes, and formation of secondary precipitates. In this project, we used a combination of experiments and numerical simulation to bridge the gap between our knowledge of these reactions at the lab scale and rates that are meaningful for modeling reactive transport at core scales. The focus is on acid-driven mineral dissolution, which is specifically relevant ... continued below

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Peters, Catherine A February 28, 2013.

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Geochemical reactions in deep subsurface environments are complicated by the consolidated nature and mineralogical complexity of sedimentary rocks. Understanding the kinetics of these reactions is critical to our ability to make long-term predictions about subsurface processes such as pH buffering, alteration in rock structure, permeability changes, and formation of secondary precipitates. In this project, we used a combination of experiments and numerical simulation to bridge the gap between our knowledge of these reactions at the lab scale and rates that are meaningful for modeling reactive transport at core scales. The focus is on acid-driven mineral dissolution, which is specifically relevant in the context of CO2-water-rock interactions in geological sequestration of carbon dioxide. The project led to major findings in three areas. First, we modeled reactive transport in pore-network systems to investigate scaling effects in geochemical reaction rates. We found significant scaling effects when CO2 concentrations are high and reaction rates are fast. These findings indicate that the increased acidity associated with geological sequestration can generate conditions for which proper scaling tools are yet to be developed. Second, we used mathematical modeling to investigate the extent to which SO2, if co-injected with CO2, would acidify formation brines. We found that there exist realistic conditions in which the impact on brine acidity will be limited due to diffusion rate-limited SO2 dissolution from the CO2 phase, and the subsequent pH shift may also be limited by the lack of availability of oxidants to produce sulfuric acid. Third, for three Viking sandstones (Alberta sedimentary basin, Canada), we employed backscattered electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy to statistically characterize mineral contact with pore space. We determined that for reactive minerals in sedimentary consolidated rocks, abundance alone is not a good predictor of mineral accessible surface area, and should not be used in reactive transport modeling. Our work showed that reaction rates would be overestimated by three to five times.

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  • Report No.: DOE/DE-FG02-05ER15636-01
  • Grant Number: FG02-05ER15636
  • DOI: 10.2172/1064444 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1064444
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc830729

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  • February 28, 2013

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • June 20, 2016, 12:47 p.m.

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Peters, Catherine A. Up-Scaling Geochemical Reaction Rates for Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in Deep Saline Aquifers, report, February 28, 2013; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc830729/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.