High performance reactive transport simulations examining the effects of thermal, hydraulic, and chemical (THC) gradients on fluid injectivity at carbonate CCUS reservoir scales

Tutolo, Benjamin M., Kong, Xiang-Zhao, Seyfried Jr., William E. and Saar, Martin O. (2015) High performance reactive transport simulations examining the effects of thermal, hydraulic, and chemical (THC) gradients on fluid injectivity at carbonate CCUS reservoir scales. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 39 285-301. doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2015.05.026


Author Tutolo, Benjamin M.
Kong, Xiang-Zhao
Seyfried Jr., William E.
Saar, Martin O.
Title High performance reactive transport simulations examining the effects of thermal, hydraulic, and chemical (THC) gradients on fluid injectivity at carbonate CCUS reservoir scales
Journal name International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1750-5836
1878-0148
Publication date 2015-08-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.ijggc.2015.05.026
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 39
Start page 285
End page 301
Total pages 17
Place of publication Camden, London, United Kingdom
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Carbonate minerals and CO2 are both considerably more soluble at low temperatures than they are at elevated temperatures. This inverse solubility has led a number of researchers to hypothesize that injecting low-temperature (i.e., less than the background reservoir temperature) CO2 into deep, saline reservoirs for CO2 Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) will dissolve CO2 and carbonate minerals near the injection well and subsequently exsolve and re-precipitate these phases as the fluids flow into the geothermally warm portion of the reservoir. In this study, we utilize high performance computing to examine the coupled effects of cool CO2 injection and background hydraulic head gradients on reservoir-scale mineral volume changes. We employ the fully coupled reactive transport simulator PFLOTRAN with calculations distributed over up to 800 processors to test 21 scenarios designed to represent a range of reservoir depths, hydraulic head gradients, and CO2 injection rates and temperatures. In the default simulations, 50 °C CO2 is injected at a rate of 50 kg/s into a 200 bar, 100 °C calcite or dolomite reservoir. By comparing these simulations with others run at varying conditions, we show that the effect of cool CO2 injection on reservoir-scale mineral volume changes tends to be relatively minor. We conclude that the low heat capacity of CO2 effectively prevents low-temperature CO2 injection from decreasing the temperature across large portions of the simulated carbonate reservoirs. This small thermal perturbation, combined with the low relative permeability of brine within the supercritical CO2 plume, yields limited dissolution and precipitation effects directly attributable to cool CO2 injection. Finally, we calculate that relatively high water-to-rock ratios, which may occur over much longer CCUS reservoir lifetimes or in materials with sufficiently high brine relative permeability within the supercritical CO2 plume, would be required to substantially affect injectivity through thermally-induced mineral dissolution and precipitation. Importantly, this study shows the utility of reservoir scale-reactive transport simulators for testing hypotheses and placing laboratory-scale observations into a CCUS reservoir-scale context.
Keyword CCUS
THC
Reactive transport
Carbonates
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID EE0002764


NSF SEP-1230691
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Civil Engineering Publications
Official 2016 Collection
 
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