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Title: Characterization and Analysis of Porosity and Pore Structures

Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) (United States). Center for Nanoscale Control of Geologic CO2 (NCGC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry; Journal Volume: 80; Journal Issue: 1; Related Information: NCGC partners with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (lead); University of California, Davis; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ohio State University; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Washington University, St. Louis
Country of Publication:
United States
bio-inspired, mechanical behavior, carbon sequestration

Citation Formats

Anovitz, Lawrence M., and Cole, David R. Characterization and Analysis of Porosity and Pore Structures. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.2138/rmg.2015.80.04.
Anovitz, Lawrence M., & Cole, David R. Characterization and Analysis of Porosity and Pore Structures. United States. doi:10.2138/rmg.2015.80.04.
Anovitz, Lawrence M., and Cole, David R. Thu . "Characterization and Analysis of Porosity and Pore Structures". United States. doi:10.2138/rmg.2015.80.04.
title = {Characterization and Analysis of Porosity and Pore Structures},
author = {Anovitz, Lawrence M. and Cole, David R.},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.2138/rmg.2015.80.04},
journal = {Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry},
number = 1,
volume = 80,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2015},
month = {Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2015}
  • Carbon capture, utilization, and storage, one proposed method of reducing anthropogenic emissions of CO 2, relies on low permeability formations, such as shales, above injection formations to prevent upward migration of the injected CO 2. Porosity in caprocks evaluated for sealing capacity before injection can be altered by geochemical reactions induced by dissolution of injected CO 2 into pore fluids, impacting long-term sealing capacity. Therefore, long-term performance of CO 2 sequestration sites may be dependent on both initial distribution and connectivity of pores in caprocks, and on changes induced by geochemical reaction after injection of CO 2, which are currentlymore » poorly understood. This paper presents results from an experimental study of changes to caprock porosity and pore network geometry in two caprock formations under conditions relevant to CO 2 sequestration. Pore connectivity and total porosity increased in the Gothic Shale; while total porosity increased but pore connectivity decreased in the Marine Tuscaloosa. Gothic Shale is a carbonate mudstone that contains volumetrically more carbonate minerals than Marine Tuscaloosa. Carbonate minerals dissolved to a greater extent than silicate minerals in Gothic Shale under high CO 2 conditions, leading to increased porosity at length scales <~200 nm that contributed to increased pore connectivity. In contrast, silicate minerals dissolved to a greater extent than carbonate minerals in Marine Tuscaloosa leading to increased porosity at all length scales, and specifically an increase in the number of pores >~1 μm. Mineral reactions also contributed to a decrease in pore connectivity, possibly as a result of precipitation in pore throats or hydration of the high percentage of clays. Finally, this study highlights the role that mineralogy of the caprock can play in geochemical response to CO 2 injection and resulting changes in sealing capacity in long-term CO 2 storage projects.« less
  • Graphite will be used as a structural and moderator material in next-generation nuclear reactors. While the overall nature of the production of nuclear graphite is well understood, the historic nuclear grades of graphite are no longer available. This paper reports the virgin microstructural characteristics of filler particles and macro-scale porosity in virgin nuclear graphite grades of interest to the Next Generation Nuclear Plant program. Optical microscopy was used to characterize filler particle size and shape as well as the arrangement of shrinkage cracks. Computer aided image analysis was applied to optical images to quantitatively determine the variation of pore structure,more » area, eccentricity, and orientation within and between grades. The overall porosity ranged between {approx}14% and 21%. A few large pores constitute the majority of the overall porosity. The distribution of pore area in all grades was roughly logarithmic in nature. The average pore was best fit by an ellipse with aspect ratio of {approx}2. An estimated 0.6-0.9% of observed porosity was attributed to shrinkage cracks in the filler particles. Finally, a preferred orientation of the porosity was observed in all grades.« less
  • Small-angle and ultra-small-angle neutron scattering (SANS and USANS) measurements were performed on samples from the Triassic Montney tight gas reservoir in Western Canada in order to determine the applicability of these techniques for characterizing the full pore size spectrum and to gain insight into the nature of the pore structure and its control on permeability. The subject tight gas reservoir consists of a finely laminated siltstone sequence; extensive cementation and moderate clay content are the primary causes of low permeability. SANS/USANS experiments run at ambient pressure and temperature conditions on lithologically-diverse sub-samples of three core plugs demonstrated that a broadmore » pore size distribution could be interpreted from the data. Two interpretation methods were used to evaluate total porosity, pore size distribution and surface area and the results were compared to independent estimates derived from helium porosimetry (connected porosity) and low-pressure N{sub 2} and CO{sub 2} adsorption (accessible surface area and pore size distribution). The pore structure of the three samples as interpreted from SANS/USANS is fairly uniform, with small differences in the small-pore range (< 2000 {angstrom}), possibly related to differences in degree of cementation, and mineralogy, in particular clay content. Total porosity interpreted from USANS/SANS is similar to (but systematically higher than) helium porosities measured on the whole core plug. Both methods were used to estimate the percentage of open porosity expressed here as a ratio of connected porosity, as established from helium adsorption, to the total porosity, as estimated from SANS/USANS techniques. Open porosity appears to control permeability (determined using pressure and pulse-decay techniques), with the highest permeability sample also having the highest percentage of open porosity. Surface area, as calculated from low-pressure N{sub 2} and CO{sub 2} adsorption, is significantly less than surface area estimates from SANS/USANS, which is due in part to limited accessibility of the gases to all pores. The similarity between N{sub 2} and CO{sub 2}-accessible surface area suggests an absence of microporosity in these samples, which is in agreement with SANS analysis. A core gamma ray profile run on the same core from which the core plug samples were taken correlates to profile permeability measurements run on the slabbed core. This correlation is related to clay content, which possibly controls the percentage of open porosity. Continued study of these effects will prove useful in log-core calibration efforts for tight gas.« less