Dimensional effects of inter-phase mass transfer on attenuation of structurally trapped gaseous carbon dioxide in shallow aquifers

Journal of Computational Physics
By: , and 

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Abstract

Based on experimental evidence and using mathematical modeling, inter-phase mass transfer processes of CO2 exsolving from and dissolving into water in heterogeneous porous media are investigated under two fundamentally different flow conditions: in a quasi one dimensional vertical column and in a two-dimensional tank with a lateral background water flow, both at laboratory scale. In both cases, the CO2 dissolved in water under a given overpressure is injected for a certain period at the bottom of the tank, exsolves, and migrates upwards. A layer of fine sand is present in the tanks designed to mimic geological scenarios of accumulation and trapping of exsolved CO2 in shallow aquifers. Then, clean water is injected and the accumulated CO2 is dissolved back into the flowing water. The study aims to point out the differences in the mass transfer processes between the quasi-1D and 2D cases using a mathematical model of two-phase compositional flow in heterogeneous porous media calibrated to the experimental datasets, and expose strategies that should be explored in future research. Additionally, temperature variations observed during the 2D experiments allow for analysis of isothermal versus non-isothermal effects on the processes of multiphase CO2 evolution. The mathematical model is discretized and solved using the mixed hybrid finite element method in 2D that allows for the simulation of both advection- and diffusion-dominated processes accurately.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Dimensional effects of inter-phase mass transfer on attenuation of structurally trapped gaseous carbon dioxide in shallow aquifers
Series title Journal of Computational Physics
DOI 10.1016/j.jcp.2019.109178
Volume 405
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) WMA - Earth System Processes Division
Description 109178
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