Carbon geological storage - underlying phenomena and implications
Espinoza, David Nicolas
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The dependency on fossil fuels faces resource limitations and sustainability concerns. This situation requires new strategies for greenhouse gas emission management and the development of new sources of energy. This thesis explores fundamental concepts related to carbon geological storage, including CO2-CH4 replacement in hydrate-bearing sediments. In particular it addresses the following phenomena: - Interfacial tension and contact angle in CO2-water-mineral and CH4-water-mineral systems. These data are needed to upscale pore phenomena through the sediment porous network, to define multiphase flow characteristics in enhanced gas recovery operations, and to optimize the injection and storage CO2 in geological formations. - Coupled processes and potential geomechanical implications associated to CH4-CO2 replacement in hydrate bearing sediments. Results include physical monitoring data gathered for CH4 hydrate-bearing sediments during and after CO2 injection. - Performance of cap rocks as trapping structures for CO2 injection sites. This study focuses on clay-CO2-water systems and CO2 breakthrough through highly compacted fine-grained sediments. Long term experiments help evaluate different sediments according to their vulnerability to CO2, predict the likelihood and time-scale of breakthrough, and estimate consequent CO2 leaks.