skip to main content


Title: Dissolution Trapping of Carbon Dioxide in Heterogeneous Aquifers

The geologic architecture in sedimentary reservoirs affects the behavior of density-driven flow and the dispersion of CO 2-rich brine. The spatial organization and connectivity of facies types play an important role. Low-permeability facies may suppress fingering and reduce vertical spreading, but may also increase transverse mixing. This is more pronounced when geologic structures create preferential flow pathways through connected facies types. Here, we perform high-resolution simulations of three-dimensional (3D) heterogeneous formations whose connectivity cannot be represented in two-dimensional models consistent with percolation theory. This work focuses on the importance of 3D facies-based heterogeneity and connectivity on advection-diffusion transport of dissolved CO 2. Because the dissolution of CO 2 and the subsequent density increase of brine are the driving force for gravitational instabilities, we model the phase behavior with the accurate cubic-plus-association equation-of-state, which accounts for the self-association of polar water molecules and the cross-association between CO 2 and water. Our results elucidate how the spatial organization of facies affects the dynamics of CO 2 convective mixing. Scaling relations for the evolution of a global dispersion-width provide insights that can be universally applied. The results suggest that the long-term evolution and scaling of dispersion are surprisingly similar for homogeneous and (binarymore » and multiscale) heterogeneous porous media.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ; ORCiD logo [4] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. The Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH (United States). School of Earth Sciences; Exponent, Pasadena, CA (United States)
  2. The Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH (United States). School of Earth Sciences
  3. Wright State Univ., Dayton, OH (United States). Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  4. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Jilin Univ., Changchun (China). College of Construction Engineering
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0013-936X
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396; AC05-00OR22725; SC0C12504; FEAA-045
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environmental Science and Technology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 51; Journal Issue: 13; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-936X
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
Contributing Orgs:
Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL (United States). Center for Geologic Storage of CO2 (GSCO2)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: