Researchers at the Colorado School of Mines have developed a comprehensive simulation tool for analyzing and modeling the coupled physical, chemical, thermal, and geomechanical processes involved in CO2 flow, storage, migration, and mineralization during long-term geologic carbon storage in saline aquifers. The simulator models the complex geology of these formations, including heterogeneity, anisotropy, fractures, and faults. The simulator also models geochemical and geomechanical processes that would occur during geologic storage of CO2. It uses parallel computation methods to allow rapid and efficient modeling assessment of CO2 injection strategies and long-term prediction of geologic storage system behavior and safety. Small-scale test experiments were used to identify the fundamental processes in homogeneous systems and test the ability of the macroscopic-scale models to capture the capillary and dissolution trapping processes in the presence of pore-scale heterogeneities. Overall, the model simulations support the evaluation of geologic storage mechanisms as a viable technique for reducing atmospheric CO2 emissions.
This project focuses on development of an improved reservoir simulator to quantitatively model and assess impacts of non-isothermal, multiphase flow and long term behavior of CO2 in saline formations. Improved reservoir simulation allows project developers to more confidently predict storage capacity, ensure that the storage formation is being efficiently utilized, and verify that the CO2 is permanently stored. This effort helps to assure that CO2 emissions to the atmosphere are reduced. Specifically, this project developed a parallelized, coupled, multiphase flow and geochemical processes code for CO2-brine systems.
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