Simulation of Coupled Processes of Flow, Transport and Storage of CO2 in Saline Aquifers


Figure 1: Dissolution of CO<sub>2</sub> into brine<br/>phase generates density inversion with resulting<br/>flow fingering that suggests future directions for<br/>multiphase flow modeling of enhanced CO<sub>2</sub><br/>dissolution rate.
Figure 1: Dissolution of CO2 into brine
phase generates density inversion with resulting
flow fingering that suggests future directions for
multiphase flow modeling of enhanced CO2
dissolution rate.
Colorado School of Mines
Website:  Colorado School of Mines
Award Number:  FE0000988
Project Duration:  10/01/2009 – 09/30/2014
Total Award Value:  $1,599,406
DOE Share:  $1,199,406
Performer Share:  $400,000
Technology Area:  Geologic Storage Technologies and Simulation and Risk Assessment
Key Technology:  Geochemical Impacts
Location:  Golden, Colorado

Project Description

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.

Project Benefits

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.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Andrea Dunn:
Technology Manager 
Traci Rodosta:
Principal Investigator 
Yu-Shu Wu::

Click to view Presentations, Papers, and Publications