skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: The Role of Capillary Hysteresis and Pore-Scale Heterogeneity in Limiting the Migration of Buoyant Immiscible Fluids in Porous Media

Abstract

Understanding the main mechanisms affecting long-term migration and redistribution of injected CO 2 in geological carbon storage is needed for developing predictive models to assess environmental risks and designing monitoring schemes. Preparation of a postinjection site care plan is required for CO 2 injection wells, including monitoring of pressure changes and injected CO 2 plume. Knowledge gaps exist regarding assessment of postinjection monitoring timeframes for the CO 2 plume because the processes driving long-term CO 2 plume migration and trapping are not fully understood. In the postinjection stage of geological carbon storage, redistribution of CO 2 occurs mainly due to buoyancy and capillary forces. This work presents experimental and modeling studies to investigate processes contributing to postinjection plume distribution and stabilization. We conducted a flow cell experiments (0.5 m × 0.05 m × 0.01 m) with two immiscible fluid phases in a glass bead porous medium to study postinjection plume behavior. We employed a hysteretic macroscopic two-phase flow model to interpret the experimental results and to understand main processes leading to plume stabilization. Our findings show that capillary pressure hysteresis explains the experimentally observed plume shape and redistribution at early postinjection stages; however, the long-term plume migration and eventual plume stabilization can only be represented when inmore » addition microscale heterogeneity is accounted for. Results also show that plume stabilization can be extremely slow and that the migration of the plume front can occur through multiple intermittent bursts over long times. Here, further studies are needed to understand implications of the results for more realistic porous media and large-scale storage reservoirs.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
OSTI Identifier:
1477335
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1458804
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231; DE‐AC02‐05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Water Resources Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 54; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 0043-1397
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; capillary hysteresis; trapping; two‐phase flow; CO2 storage

Citation Formats

Cihan, Abdullah, Wang, Shibo, Tokunaga, Tetsu K., and Birkholzer, Jens T. The Role of Capillary Hysteresis and Pore-Scale Heterogeneity in Limiting the Migration of Buoyant Immiscible Fluids in Porous Media. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1029/2018WR022741.
Cihan, Abdullah, Wang, Shibo, Tokunaga, Tetsu K., & Birkholzer, Jens T. The Role of Capillary Hysteresis and Pore-Scale Heterogeneity in Limiting the Migration of Buoyant Immiscible Fluids in Porous Media. United States. doi:10.1029/2018WR022741.
Cihan, Abdullah, Wang, Shibo, Tokunaga, Tetsu K., and Birkholzer, Jens T. Wed . "The Role of Capillary Hysteresis and Pore-Scale Heterogeneity in Limiting the Migration of Buoyant Immiscible Fluids in Porous Media". United States. doi:10.1029/2018WR022741. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1477335.
@article{osti_1477335,
title = {The Role of Capillary Hysteresis and Pore-Scale Heterogeneity in Limiting the Migration of Buoyant Immiscible Fluids in Porous Media},
author = {Cihan, Abdullah and Wang, Shibo and Tokunaga, Tetsu K. and Birkholzer, Jens T.},
abstractNote = {Understanding the main mechanisms affecting long-term migration and redistribution of injected CO2 in geological carbon storage is needed for developing predictive models to assess environmental risks and designing monitoring schemes. Preparation of a postinjection site care plan is required for CO2 injection wells, including monitoring of pressure changes and injected CO2 plume. Knowledge gaps exist regarding assessment of postinjection monitoring timeframes for the CO2 plume because the processes driving long-term CO2 plume migration and trapping are not fully understood. In the postinjection stage of geological carbon storage, redistribution of CO2 occurs mainly due to buoyancy and capillary forces. This work presents experimental and modeling studies to investigate processes contributing to postinjection plume distribution and stabilization. We conducted a flow cell experiments (0.5 m × 0.05 m × 0.01 m) with two immiscible fluid phases in a glass bead porous medium to study postinjection plume behavior. We employed a hysteretic macroscopic two-phase flow model to interpret the experimental results and to understand main processes leading to plume stabilization. Our findings show that capillary pressure hysteresis explains the experimentally observed plume shape and redistribution at early postinjection stages; however, the long-term plume migration and eventual plume stabilization can only be represented when in addition microscale heterogeneity is accounted for. Results also show that plume stabilization can be extremely slow and that the migration of the plume front can occur through multiple intermittent bursts over long times. Here, further studies are needed to understand implications of the results for more realistic porous media and large-scale storage reservoirs.},
doi = {10.1029/2018WR022741},
journal = {Water Resources Research},
number = 7,
volume = 54,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {6}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 1 work
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Modeling geologic storage of carbon dioxide: Comparison of non-hysteretic and hysteretic characteristic curves
journal, June 2007


Impact of relative permeability hysteresis on geological CO 2 storage : IMPACT OF HYSTERESIS ON GEOLOGICAL CO
journal, December 2006

  • Juanes, R.; Spiteri, E. J.; Orr, F. M.
  • Water Resources Research, Vol. 42, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.1029/2005WR004806

Saturation-matric potential relations in gravel: SATURATION-MATRIC POTENTIAL RELATIONS IN GRAVEL
journal, October 2002

  • Tokunaga, Tetsu K.; Wan, Jiamin; Olson, Keith R.
  • Water Resources Research, Vol. 38, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1029/2001WR001242

Void-size probability distribution in random packings of equal-sized spheres
journal, June 1995


Network Approach to Void Percolation in a Pack of Unequal Spheres
journal, August 1996


Interface pinning of immiscible gravity-exchange flows in porous media
journal, February 2013

  • Zhao, Benzhong; MacMinn, Christopher W.; Szulczewski, Michael L.
  • Physical Review E, Vol. 87, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.87.023015

Investigation of mechanisms of supercritical CO2 trapping in deep saline reservoirs using surrogate fluids at ambient laboratory conditions
journal, October 2014

  • Trevisan, Luca; Cihan, Abdullah; Fagerlund, Fritjof
  • International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, Vol. 29
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.ijggc.2014.07.012

Capillary pinning and blunting of immiscible gravity currents in porous media
journal, September 2014

  • Zhao, Benzhong; MacMinn, Christopher W.; Huppert, Herbert E.
  • Water Resources Research, Vol. 50, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1002/2014WR015335

Comparison of height-averaged and point-measured capillary pressure-saturation relations for sands using a modified Tempe cell: TECHNICAL NOTE
journal, December 2007

  • Sakaki, Toshihiro; Illangasekare, Tissa H.
  • Water Resources Research, Vol. 43, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.1029/2006WR005814

Gravity-driven flows in porous layers
journal, June 1995


Improved Computational Procedure for Retention Relations of Immiscible Fluids Using Pressure Cells
journal, January 1995


A modeling approach to represent hysteresis in capillary pressure-saturation relationship based on fluid connectivity in void space: A MODELING APPROACH TO REPRESENT HYSTERESIS
journal, January 2014

  • Cihan, Abdullah; Birkholzer, Jens; Illangasekare, Tissa H.
  • Water Resources Research, Vol. 50, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1002/2013WR014280