Experimental study of convective dissolution of carbon dioxide in porous media

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Liang, Yu, active 21st century

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Geological carbon dioxide (CO₂) capture and storage in geological formations has the potential to reduce anthropogenic emissions. The viability of technology depends on the long-term security of the geological CO₂ storage. Dissolution of CO₂ into the brine, resulting in stable stratification, has been identified as the key to long-term storage security. The dissolution rate determined by convection in the brine is driven by the increase of brine density with CO₂ saturation. Here we present a new analog laboratory experiment system to characterize convective dissolution in homogeneous porous medium. By understanding the relationship between dissolution and the Rayleigh number in homogeneous porous media, we can evaluate if convective dissolution occurs in the field and, in turn, to estimate the security of geological CO₂ storage fields. The large experimental assembly will allow us to quantify the relationship between convective dynamics and the Rayleigh number of the system, which could be essential to trapping process at Bravo Dome. A series of pictures with high resolution are taken to show the existence and movement of fingers of analog fluid. Also, these pictures are processed, clearly showed the concentration of analog fluid, which is essential to analyze the convective dissolution in detail. We measured the reduction in the convective flux due to hydraulic dispersion effect compared to that in homogeneous media, to determine if convective dissolution is an important trapping process at Bravo Dome.



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