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Refractive-Light-Transmission Technique Applied to Density-Driven Convective Mixing in Porous Media With Implications for Geological CO2 Storage
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, LUVAL.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, LUVAL.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, LUVAL.
Univ Calif Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley Natl Lab, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA..
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2017 (English)In: Water resources research, ISSN 0043-1397, E-ISSN 1944-7973, Vol. 53, no 11, p. 8760-8780Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Density-driven convection has been identified to accelerate the rate of CO2 solubility trapping during geological CO2 storage in deep saline aquifers. In this paper, we present an experimental method using the refractive properties of fluids (their impact on light transmission), and an analogous system design, which enables the study of transport mechanisms in saturated porous media. The method is used to investigate solutally induced density-driven convective mixing under conditions relevant to geological CO2 storage. The analogous system design allows us by choice of initial solute concentration and bead size to duplicate a wide range of conditions (Ra-values), making it possible to study the convective process in general, and as a laboratory analogue for systems found in the field. We show that the method accurately determines the solute concentration in the system with high spatial and temporal resolution. The onset time of convection (t(c)), mass flux (F), and flow dynamics are quantified and compared with experimental and numerical findings in the literature. Our data yield a scaling law for tc which gives new insight into its dependence on Ra, indicating t(c) to be more sensitive to large Ra than previously thought. Furthermore, our data show and explain why F is described equally well by a Ra-dependent or a Ra-independent scaling law. These findings improve the understanding of the physical process of convective mixing in saturated porous media in general and help to assess the CO2 solubility trapping rate under certain field conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2017. Vol. 53, no 11, p. 8760-8780
Keywords [en]
carbon dioxide, CCS, density-driven convection, experiment, refraction, solubility trapping
National Category
Environmental Sciences Oceanography, Hydrology and Water Resources
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-339703DOI: 10.1002/2017WR020730ISI: 000418736700007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-339703DiVA, id: diva2:1177837
Available from: 2018-01-26 Created: 2018-01-26 Last updated: 2018-03-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Residual and Solubility trapping during Geological CO2 storage: Numerical and Experimental studies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Residual and Solubility trapping during Geological CO2 storage: Numerical and Experimental studies
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Geological storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) in deep saline aquifers mitigates atmospheric release of greenhouse gases. To estimate storage capacity and evaluate storage safety, knowledge of the trapping mechanisms that retain CO2 within geological formations, and the factors affecting these is fundamental. The objective of this thesis is to study residual and solubility trapping mechanisms (the latter enhanced by density-driven convective mixing), specifically in regard to their dependency on aquifer characteristics, and to investigate and develop methods for quantification of CO2 trapping in the field. The work includes implementation of existing numerical simulators and inverse modeling, as well as the development of new models and experimental methods for the study and quantification of CO2 trapping.

A comparison of well-test designs in regard to their abilities to estimate the in-situ residual gas saturation (that determines the residual trapping of CO2) is presented, as well as a novel indicator-tracer approach to obtain residual gas saturation conditions in a formation. The results can aid in the planning of well-tests for estimation of trapping potential during site characterization.

Pore-network modeling simulations were conducted to study the effects of co-contaminant sulphur dioxide and formation thermodynamic and salinity conditions on residual CO2 trapping.

Furthermore, an analysis tool was developed and used to study the prerequisites for density-driven instability and convective mixing over broad geological storage conditions, including the relative influences of formation characteristics on factors controlling the convective process. The results show which conditions favour or disfavour residual and solubility trapping, knowledge useful for long-term predictions of the fate of injected CO2, and safety assessments during site selection.

An optical experimental method, the refractive-light-transmission (RLT) technique, and an analogue system design were developed for studying density-driven flow in porous media. The method exploits changes in light refraction to visualize convective flow, and incorporates a calibration procedure and an image post-processing scheme that enable quantification of solute concentration, density and viscosity within porous media. The experimental setup was used to study the dynamics of convective mixing, and to derive scaling laws for the onset time and mass flux of convection.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. p. 81
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1640
Keywords
capillary trapping, CCS, convective flow, CO2, light transmission, SO2, well test
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Hydrology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-343505 (URN)978-91-513-0257-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-04-27, Hambergsalen, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-03-28 Created: 2018-03-03 Last updated: 2018-04-24

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Rasmusson, MariaFagerlund, FritjofRasmusson, KristinaNiemi, Antti

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