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Title: Numerical Modeling of CO2 Sequestration in Geologic Formations -Recent Results and Open Challenges

Abstract

Rising atmospheric concentrations of CO2, and their role inglobal warming, have prompted efforts to reduce emissions of CO2 fromburning of fossil fuels. An attractive mitigation option underconsideration in many countries is the injection of CO2 from stationarysources, such as fossil-fueled power plants, into deep, stable geologicformations, where it would be stored and kept out of the atmosphere fortime periods of hundreds to thousands of years or more. Potentialgeologic storage reservoirs include depleted or depleting oil and gasreservoirs, unmineable coal seams, and saline formations. While oil andgas reservoirs may provide some attractive early targets for CO2 storage,estimates for geographic regions worldwide have suggested that onlysaline formations would provide sufficient storage capacity tosubstantially impact atmospheric releases. This paper will focus on CO2storage in saline formations.Injection of CO2 into a saline aquifer willgive rise to immiscible displacement of brine by the advancing CO2. Thelower viscosity of CO2 relative to aqueous fluids provides a potentialfor hydrodynamic instabilities during the displacement process. Attypical subsurface conditions of temperature and pressure, CO2 is lessdense than aqueous fluids and is subject to upward buoyancy force inenvironments where pressures are controlled by an ambient aqueous phase.Thus CO2 would tend to rise towards the top of a permeable formation andaccumulatemore » beneath the caprock. Some CO2 will also dissolve in theaqueous phase, while the CO2-rich phase may dissolve some formationwaters, which would tend to dry out the vicinity of the injection wells.CO2 will make formation waters more acidic, and will induce chemicalrections that may precipitate and dissolve mineral phases (Xu et al.,2004). As a consequence of CO2 injection, significant pressurization offormation fluids would occur over large areas. These pressurizationeffects will change effective stresses, and may cause movement alongfaults with associated seismicity and increases in permeability thatcould lead to leakage from the storage reservoir (Rutqvist and Tsang,2005).« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley NationalLaboratory, Berkeley, CA (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE. Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy.Coal
OSTI Identifier:
919767
Report Number(s):
LBNL-59888
R&D Project: G22401; BnR: AA1505000; TRN: US200822%%531
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Computational Methods in Water Resources (CMWRXVI), Copenhagen, Denmark, 18-22 June 2006
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CARBON DIOXIDE; CHEMICAL REACTIONS; COAL SEAMS; FOSSIL FUELS; GEOLOGIC FORMATIONS; GREENHOUSE EFFECT; INTERSTITIAL WATER; POWER PLANTS; STORAGE; WATER RESOURCES; CARBON SEQUESTRATION

Citation Formats

Pruess, Karsten. Numerical Modeling of CO2 Sequestration in Geologic Formations -Recent Results and Open Challenges. United States: N. p., 2006. Web.
Pruess, Karsten. Numerical Modeling of CO2 Sequestration in Geologic Formations -Recent Results and Open Challenges. United States.
Pruess, Karsten. Wed . "Numerical Modeling of CO2 Sequestration in Geologic Formations -Recent Results and Open Challenges". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/919767.
@article{osti_919767,
title = {Numerical Modeling of CO2 Sequestration in Geologic Formations -Recent Results and Open Challenges},
author = {Pruess, Karsten},
abstractNote = {Rising atmospheric concentrations of CO2, and their role inglobal warming, have prompted efforts to reduce emissions of CO2 fromburning of fossil fuels. An attractive mitigation option underconsideration in many countries is the injection of CO2 from stationarysources, such as fossil-fueled power plants, into deep, stable geologicformations, where it would be stored and kept out of the atmosphere fortime periods of hundreds to thousands of years or more. Potentialgeologic storage reservoirs include depleted or depleting oil and gasreservoirs, unmineable coal seams, and saline formations. While oil andgas reservoirs may provide some attractive early targets for CO2 storage,estimates for geographic regions worldwide have suggested that onlysaline formations would provide sufficient storage capacity tosubstantially impact atmospheric releases. This paper will focus on CO2storage in saline formations.Injection of CO2 into a saline aquifer willgive rise to immiscible displacement of brine by the advancing CO2. Thelower viscosity of CO2 relative to aqueous fluids provides a potentialfor hydrodynamic instabilities during the displacement process. Attypical subsurface conditions of temperature and pressure, CO2 is lessdense than aqueous fluids and is subject to upward buoyancy force inenvironments where pressures are controlled by an ambient aqueous phase.Thus CO2 would tend to rise towards the top of a permeable formation andaccumulate beneath the caprock. Some CO2 will also dissolve in theaqueous phase, while the CO2-rich phase may dissolve some formationwaters, which would tend to dry out the vicinity of the injection wells.CO2 will make formation waters more acidic, and will induce chemicalrections that may precipitate and dissolve mineral phases (Xu et al.,2004). As a consequence of CO2 injection, significant pressurization offormation fluids would occur over large areas. These pressurizationeffects will change effective stresses, and may cause movement alongfaults with associated seismicity and increases in permeability thatcould lead to leakage from the storage reservoir (Rutqvist and Tsang,2005).},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Mar 08 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Wed Mar 08 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}

Conference:
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  • PFLOTRAN a massively parallel computer code for modeling coupled hydro-thermal-chemical processes in variably saturated, non-isothermal porous media is applied to sequestration of supercritical CO{sub 2} in deep geologic formations. Two different methods of solution to the governing partial differential equations are implemented referred to as variable switching and the flash approach. Variable switching entails choosing the independent variables according to the set of phases present in a control volume, whereas in the flash approach a persistent set of variables are used through the calculation. The features and performance of the two approaches are described and contrasted in regard to stabilitymore » and convergence, flexibility of choice of solver, and scaling behavior.« less
  • Understanding the potential impacts of unexpected surface releases of CO{sub 2} is an essential part of risk assessment for geologic carbon sequestration sites. We have extended a mesoscale atmospheric model to model dense gas dispersion of CO{sub 2} leakage. The hazard from CO{sub 2} leakage is greatest in regions with topographic depressions where the dense gas can pool. Simulation of dispersion in idealized topographies shows that CO{sub 2} can persist even under high winds. Simulation of a variety of topographies, winds, and release conditions allows the generation of a catalog of simulation results that can be queried to estimate potentialmore » impacts at actual geologic carbon sequestration sites.« less
  • Injection of CO2 into subsurface geologic formations has been identified as a key strategy for mitigating the impact of anthropogenic emissions of CO2. A key aspect of this process is the prevention of leakage from the host formation by an effective cap or seal rock which has low porosity and permeability characteristics. Shales comprise the majority of cap rocks encountered in subsurface injection sites with pore sizes typically less than 100 nm and whose surface chemistries are dominated by quartz (SiO2) and clays. We report the behavior of pure CO2 interacting with simple substrates, i.e. SiO2 and mica, that actmore » as proxies for more complex mineralogical systems. Modeling of small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) data taken from CO2- silica aerogel (95% porosity; 6 nm pores) interactions indicates the presence of fluid depletion for conditions above the critical density. A theoretical framework, i.e. integral equation approximation (IEA), is presented that describes the fundamental behavior of near-critical adsorption onto a non-confining substrate that is consistent with SANS experimental results. Structural and dynamic behavior for supercritical CO2 interaction in K-mica slit pores was assessed by classical molecular dynamics (CMD). These results indicate the development of distinct layers of CO2 within slit pores, reduced mobility by one to two orders of magnitudes compared to bulk CO2 depending on pore size and formation of bonds between CO2 oxygens and H from mica hydroxyls. Analysis of simple, well-characterized fluid-substrate systems can provide details on the thermodynamic, structural and dynamic properties of CO2 at conditions relevant to sequestration.« less