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Researchers identify safe and effective carbon recovery and storage factors

Left: Underground CO2 storage. Right: CO2 transfer pattern of a digitized rock sample obtained from a pore-scale two-phase flow simulation. The simulation was run on the Frontera supercomputer.Credits: Sahar Bakhshian, University of Texas at Austin

The road to a stable climate is challenging and controversial. Many solutions are needed to enable a quick and equitable transition from fossil fuels. Among them are the development of sustainable energy sources, more environmentally friendly materials and ways to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.


One of the removal methods scientists are looking for is Carbon capture And storage (CCS). In carbon capture and storage, CO2 is recovered from industrial resources and injected into deep underground geological reservoirs. Theoretically, it would be thousands of years, much like water is stored in an aquifer.

Sahar Bakhshian, a researcher at the University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Deposits, recently used a supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) to see how CO2 storage is at the level of micrometer-wide pores in rock. I basically understood how it works. Determine the characteristics and factors that help optimize the amount of CO2 that can be stored.

Write in International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Management In December 2021, she investigated the trap efficiency of CO2 by dissolving gas in the indigenous salt water of the salt aquifer.

“Using different injection rates and fluid rock properties, experiment with different scenarios to determine how the properties affect what percentage of the injected CO2 is ideally trapped by the dissolution mechanism. I did, “she explained.

She found that two factors have a significant effect on the amount of CO2 that can be stored in the space within the rock. And injection rate (the rate at which supercritical CO2 is pushed into the reservoir).

Another effective process that ensures the safety of CO2 storage is capillary trapping. This occurs when CO2 is pinched off and immobilized in the pore space by capillary force.In a study published in Advances in water resources In April 2019, Bakhshian will use a digital version of the actual rock from the CO2 storage test site in Cranfield, Mississippi to investigate how CO2 migrated through the rock’s pore structure during the injection phase. We announced the results of a two-phase flow simulation on a pore scale. And how is it trapped as a blob immobilized in the pore space after injection?

Bakhshian’s work has been undertaken with the support of the Gulf Carbon Center (GCCC), which has been working to understand the potential, risks, and best practices of geological carbon storage since 1998.

CO2 flows through the interstices of millimeter-sized rock samples initially filled with salt water. This high-resolution hydrodynamic simulation shows the path of CO2 migration when injected into the saline reservoir.Credits: Sahar Bakhshian, University of Texas at Austin

According to Bakhshian, supercomputers are one of the key tools freely available to geoscientists to study processes related to carbon capture and storage. “Computational fluid dynamics technology is essential in this area to better screen target reservoirs suitable for CO2 storage and predict the behavior of CO2 plumes in these reservoirs,” she said.

Understanding the dynamics of storage capacity at the pore level through high performance computing simulation provides one lens on how to achieve large-scale carbon capture and storage.

“Our research basically characterizes geological settings suitable for storage, investigates how to inject CO2, is safe and effective, and does not pose a threat to humans or groundwater resources. I’m trying to confirm, “says Bakhshian.

Another aspect of Bakhshian’s research involves using machine learning techniques to estimate the storage capacity of reservoirs and develop computationally fast models that can assist in environmental monitoring of CO2.

write in Environmental science and technology In October 2021, Bakhshian proposed a deep learning framework for detecting anomalies in soil gas concentration sensor data. The model was trained with data taken from sensors used for environmental characterization at a future CO2 storage site in Queensland, Australia.

Bakhshian’s method of incorporating a process based on natural soil respiration into a deep learning framework was able to detect anomalies in sensor data. This can represent either a sensor error or a leak in future applications.

“Having a reliable real-time anomaly detection framework trained using streaming sensor data and guided by process-based methodologies may help facilitate environmental monitoring in future projects.” Said Bakhshian.

According to the Global CCS Institute, the United States is one of the countries with the highest potential for geological CO2. storage..Although some environmentalists argue that CCS is just a way for energy companies to continue to extract. Fossil fuelOthers, including the International Panel on Climate Change, have included CCS as one of the ways the global community can achieve net zero emissions by the middle of the century.

“It’s safe and effective,” Bakhshian said. “And computing helps us find an economical way to reach this goal.”


Researchers warn that urgent action is needed to reduce uncertainty about carbon capture prospects.


For more information:
Sahar Bakhshian, Dynamics of dissolution trapping in geological carbon storage, International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Management (2021). DOI: 10.1016 / j.ijggc.2021.103520

Quote: Carbon Storage Calculations: Researchers have obtained safe and effective carbon from https: //phys.org/news/2022-02-carbon-storage-factors-safe-effective on February 10, 2022. Identify factors in capture and storage (February 10, 2022).html

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Researchers identify safe and effective carbon recovery and storage factors

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