Publication DetailsLiquid CO2 Displacement of Water in a Dual-Permeability Pore Network Micromodel.
Zhang C, M Oostrom, JW Grate, TW Wietsma, and MG Warner.2011."Liquid CO2 Displacement of Water in a Dual-Permeability Pore Network Micromodel."Environmental Science & Technology 45(17):7581-7588. doi:10.1021/es201858r
Permeability contrasts exist in multilayer geological formations under consideration for carbon sequestration. To improve our understanding of heterogeneous pore-scale displacements, liquid CO2 (LCO2) - water displacement was evaluated in a pore network micromodel with two distinct permeability zones. Due to the low viscosity ratio (logM = -1.1), unstable displacement occurred at all injection rates over two orders of magnitude. LCO2 displaced water only in the high permeability zone at low injection rates with the mechanism shifting from capillary fingering to viscous fingering with increasing flow rate. At high injection rates, LCO2 displaced water in the low permeability zone with capillary fingering as the dominant mechanism. LCO2 saturation (SLCO2) as a function of injection rate was quantified using fluorescent microscopy. In all experiments, more than 50% of LCO2 resided in the active flowpaths, and this fraction increased as displacement transitioned from capillary to viscous fingering. A continuum-scale two-phase flow model with independently determined fluid and hydraulic parameters was used to predict SLCO2 in the dual-permeability field. Agreement with the micromodel experiments was obtained for low injection rates. However, the numerical model does not account for the unstable viscous fingering processes observed experimentally at higher rates and hence overestimated SLCO2.