Computational methodology to analyze the effect of mass transfer rate on attenuation of leaked carbon dioxide in shallow aquifers


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Exsolution and re-dissolution of CO2 gas within heterogeneous porous media are investigated using experimental data and mathematical modeling. In a set of bench-scale experiments, water saturated with CO2 under a given pressure is injected into a 2-D water-saturated porous media system, causing CO2 gas to exsolve and migrate upwards. A layer of fine sand mimicking a heterogeneity within a shallow aquifer is present in the tank to study accumulation and trapping of exsolved CO2. Then, clean water is injected into the system and the accumulated CO2 dissolves back into the flowing water. Simulated exsolution and dissolution mass transfer processes are studied using both near-equilibrium and kinetic approaches and compared to experimental data under conditions that do and do not include lateral background water flow. The mathematical model is based on the mixed hybrid finite element method that allows for accurate simulation of both advection- and diffusion-dominated processes.



Compositional flow, two-phase flow, kinetic mass transfer, gas exsolution, gas dissolution