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Title: Wellbore cement fracture evolution at the cement–basalt caprock interface during geologic carbon sequestration

Composite Portland cement-basalt caprock cores with fractures, as well as neat Portland cement columns, were prepared to understand the geochemical and geomechanical effects on the integrity of wellbores with defects during geologic carbon sequestration. The samples were reacted with CO2-saturated groundwater at 50 ºC and 10 MPa for 3 months under static conditions, while one cement-basalt core was subjected to mechanical stress at 2.7 MPa before the CO2 reaction. Micro-XRD and SEM-EDS data collected along the cement-basalt interface after 3-month reaction with CO2-saturated groundwater indicate that carbonation of cement matrix was extensive with the precipitation of calcite, aragonite, and vaterite, whereas the alteration of basalt caprock was minor. X-ray microtomography (XMT) provided three-dimensional (3-D) visualization of the opening and interconnection of cement fractures due to mechanical stress. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling further revealed that this stress led to the increase in fluid flow and hence permeability. After the CO2-reaction, XMT images displayed that calcium carbonate precipitation occurred extensively within the fractures in the cement matrix, but only partially along the fracture located at the cement-basalt interface. The 3-D visualization and CFD modeling also showed that the precipitation of calcium carbonate within the cement fractures after the CO2-reaction resulted inmore » the disconnection of cement fractures and permeability decrease. The permeability calculated based on CFD modeling was in agreement with the experimentally determined permeability. This study demonstrates that XMT imaging coupled with CFD modeling represent a powerful tool to visualize and quantify fracture evolution and permeability change in geologic materials and to predict their behavior during geologic carbon sequestration or hydraulic fracturing for shale gas production and enhanced geothermal systems.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
47743; 48176
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Geochemistry, 47:1-16
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
cement; fracture; basalt; carbon sequestration; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory