Ionization in H2O -- bearing carbon dioxide determined by conductivity measurements
Capobianco, Ryan Michael
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Recent studies report rapid corrosion of metals and carbonation of minerals in contact with H2O-saturated (or nearly saturated) CO2. One explanation for this behavior is that addition of small amounts of H2O to CO2 leads to significant ionization within the fluid (analogous to corrosion in aqueous fluids). The extent of ionization in the bulk CO2 fluid was determined using a flow-through conductivity cell capable of analyzing very dilute solutions. Experiments were conducted from 25 to 200"C and 25 to 200 bar with H2O concentrations up to ~1650 ppmw. In all experiments, conductivities <10 nS/cm were obtained, indicating that the solution is essentially ion-free. This observation suggests that mobile ions are not present in the bulk CO2--rich fluid, and that the observed corrosion and carbonation reactions are not the result of ionization in the bulk fluid.
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