GEOTHERMAL TECHNOLOGIES LEGACY COLLECTION - Bibliographic Citation


Bibliographic Citation



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Full Text: Citation URL: http://www.osti.gov/geothermal/product.biblio.jsp?osti_id=928848
Title: Enhanced Geothermal Systems Research and Development: Models of Subsurface Chemical Processes Affecting Fluid Flow
Creator/Author: Moller, Nancy ; Weare J. H.
Publication Date:2008 May 29
OSTI Identifier:OSTI 928848
Report Number(s):DOEGO14300
DOE Contract Number:FG36-04GO14300
Document Type:Technical Report
Specific Type:
Coverage:Final
Resource Relation:
Other Number(s):
Research Org:University of California, San Diego
Sponsoring Org:USDOE - Office of Geothermal Technologies(EE-12)
Subject:15 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; ALUMINIUM; BRINES; CATIONS; CHEMICAL COMPOSITION; CHEMISTRY; FLUID FLOW; GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; GEOTHERMAL RESOURCES; GEOTHERMAL SYSTEMS; HYDROLYSIS; HYDROXIDES; PERMEABILITY; SATURATION; SILICA; SIMULATION; SODIUM CHLORIDES; SOLUBILITY
Keywords:chemical models, enhanced geothermal systems, hydrothermal fluids, rock/water interactions, Pitzer equations, aluminosilicate minerals, saturation ratios, mineral solubility, aluminum aqueous chemistry, subsurface brine chemistry, formation permeability, brine mixing, aqueous solution properties, fluid flow, resevoir chemistry
Description/Abstract:Successful exploitation of the vast amount of heat stored beneath the earth’s surface in hydrothermal and fluid-limited, low permeability geothermal resources would greatly expand the Nation’s domestic energy inventory and thereby promote a more secure energy supply, a stronger economy and a cleaner environment. However, a major factor limiting the expanded development of current hydrothermal resources as well as the production of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) is insufficient knowledge about the chemical processes controlling subsurface fluid flow. With funding from past grants from the DOE geothermal program and other agencies, we successfully developed advanced equation of state (EOS) and simulation technologies that accurately describe the chemistry of geothermal reservoirs and energy production processes via their free energies for wide XTP ranges. Using the specific interaction equations of Pitzer, we showed that our TEQUIL chemical models can correctly simulate behavior (e.g., mineral scaling and saturation ratios, gas break out, brine mixing effects, down hole temperatures and fluid chemical composition, spent brine incompatibilities) within the compositional range (Na-K-Ca-Cl-SO4-CO3-H2O-SiO2-CO2(g)) and temperature range (T < 350°C) associated with many current geothermal energy production sites that produce brines with temperatures below the critical point of water. The goal of research carried out under DOE grant DE-FG36-04GO14300 (10/1/2004-12/31/2007) was to expand the compositional range of our Pitzer-based TEQUIL fluid/rock interaction models to include the important aluminum and silica interactions (T < 350°C). Aluminum is the third most abundant element in the earth’s crust; and, as a constituent of aluminosilicate minerals, it is found in two thirds of the minerals in the earth’s crust. The ability to accurately characterize effects of temperature, fluid mixing and interactions between major rock-forming minerals and hydrothermal and/or injected fluids is critical to predict important chemical behaviors affecting fluid flow, such as mineral precipitation/dissolution reactions. We successfully achieved the project goal and objectives by demonstrating the ability of our modeling technology to correctly predict the complex pH dependent solution chemistry of the Al3+ cation and its hydrolysis species: Al(OH)2+, Al(OH)2+, Al(OH)30, and Al(OH)4- as well as the solubility of common aluminum hydroxide and aluminosilicate minerals in aqueous brines containing components (Na, K, Cl) commonly dominating hydrothermal fluids. In the sodium chloride system, where experimental data for model parameterization are most plentiful, the model extends to 300°C. Determining the stability fields of aluminum species that control the solubility of aluminum-containing minerals as a function of temperature and composition has been a major objective of research in hydrothermal chemistry.
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Country of Publication:US
Language:English
Size/Format:Medium: ED; Size: 639KB
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System Entry Date:2008 Oct 02
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