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Geochemistry of silicate-rich rocks can curtail spreading of carbon dioxide in subsurface aquifers.


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Type

Article

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Authors

Cardoso, SSS 
Andres, JTH 

Abstract

Pools of carbon dioxide are found in natural geological accumulations and in engineered storage in saline aquifers. It has been thought that once this CO2 dissolves in the formation water, making it denser, convection streams will transport it efficiently to depth, but this may not be so. Here, we assess theoretically and experimentally the impact of natural chemical reactions between the dissolved CO2 and the rock formation on the convection streams in the subsurface. We show that, while in carbonate rocks the streaming of dissolved carbon dioxide persists, the chemical interactions in silicate-rich rocks may curb this transport drastically and even inhibit it altogether. These results challenge our view of carbon sequestration and dissolution rates in the subsurface, suggesting that pooled carbon dioxide may remain in the shallower regions of the formation for hundreds to thousands of years. The deeper regions of the reservoir can remain virtually carbon free.

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Keywords

physics.flu-dyn, physics.flu-dyn, physics.chem-ph, physics.geo-ph

Journal Title

Nat Commun

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

2041-1723
2041-1723

Volume Title

5

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Sponsorship
J. T. H. A. gratefully acknowledges the Schlumberger Foundation for financial support for her PhD study.