Flow Instabilities During Injection of CO2 into SalineAquifers

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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). 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 so that waves or rounded lobes of saturation may appear and grow into ... continued below

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Garcia, Julio E. & Pruess, Karsten April 15, 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). 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 so that waves or rounded lobes of saturation may appear and grow into fingers that lead to enhanced dissolution, bypassing, and possibly poor sweep efficiency. This paper presents an analysis, through high-resolution numerical simulations, of the onset of instabilities (viscous fingering) during injection of CO{sub 2} into saline aquifers. We explore the influence of viscosity ratio, relative permeability functions, and capillary pressure on finger growth and spacing. In addition, we address the issues of finger triggering, convergence under grid refinement and boundary condition effects. Simulations were carried out on scalar machines, and on an IBM RS/6000 SP (a distributed-memory parallel computer with 6080 processors) with a parallelized version of TOUGH2.

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  • TOUGH Symposium 2003, Berkeley, CA,05/12-14/2003

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  • Report No.: LBNL--57973
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 928482
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc894181

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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  • April 15, 2003

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Sept. 30, 2016, 2:42 p.m.

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Garcia, Julio E. & Pruess, Karsten. Flow Instabilities During Injection of CO2 into SalineAquifers, article, April 15, 2003; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc894181/: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.