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Research - Dept. of Hydromechanics and Modelling of Hydrosystems

Numerical investigations on coupled flow and bio-geochemical processes during and after storage of CO2 in the subsurface
Project manager:Prof. Alfred B. Cunningham, apl. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Class
Deputy:Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rainer Helmig
Research assistants:Dr.-Ing. Johannes Hommel
Duration:1.10.2012 - 30.9.2015
Funding:International research training group NUPUS
Continuity project of: Modellierung der Entwicklung von Biofilmen und deren Einfluss auf den CO2- und Wasserfluss in porösen Medien

This project is part of the research area:
Modeling of multiphase-multicomponent processes for the sequestration of CO2 in the subsurface

Publications: Link


Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) will be utilized in the near future to mitigate the global climate change by reducing the emissions of CO2, which is injected in the subsurface. Optimal CCS reservoirs are separated from above aquifers by a low permeability cap rock to prevent leakage of CO2 from the reservoir and lie in great depths to achieve favorable storage conditions. Ideally, this should be sufficient to ensure the safe storage of CO2, but since it is difficult to determine the exact geological features of potentially suitable formations, it is still possible that significant leakage occurs a chosen storage site. Such leakage may occur due to previously unknown fractures or other weak spots in the cap rock or due to geochemical or mechanical processes initiated by the injection and migration of CO2.

Further research to improve sealing technologies used to mitigate potential leakage, like the injection of cement or biomineralization, requires understanding of both the (bio-) and geochemical reactions and the transport of the different components in both CO2 and water phase.

The intention of this project is to develop models capable of simulating complex transport and bio-geochemical processes at a laboratory or field scale to be able to investigate the effects of CCS on the geochemistry and aid in the design of technologies to reduce or even prevent leakage from CO2 reservoirs.