A Study of Surface Treatments on Carbonate Core Material for Application to Mineral Precipitation and Dissolution during Geologic Carbon Storage
Tomson, Mason B.
Doctor of Philosophy
Underground injection of acid gas has been studied for several decades for oil field applications, such as enhanced oil recovery (EOR), but is now being studied as a solution to climate change. This research aims to simulate underground conditions at injection sites, such as the pilot scale injection site located near the site of a coal fired power facility in the Black Warrior Basin of Alabama. This proposed carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) location would involve injection of liquid CO2 into a carbonaceous saline aquifer. The objective of this study was to investigate carbonate surface treatments that alter the kinetics and mechanism of mineral dissolution resulting from the injection of an acid gas (CO2) into a geologic formation. A variety of mineral coatings were tested in an attempt to preserve mineral integrity under acidic conditions. Surface active chemicals were first tested, including scale inhibitors, followed by a novel acid induced surface treatment that precipitates an inorganic layer on the calcite to preserve the acid soluble mineral. These experiments are the first to investigate the use of scale inhibitors for mineral preservation, although were found ultimately to have little impact on dissolution kinetics. However, anions of moderate to strong acids induced surface coatings that were determined to effectively inhibit dissolution. Additionally, a novel, high pressure flow-through experimental apparatus was developed to simulate pressure and temperature conditions relevant to injection sites. Similar mineralogical studies in the literature have used pressurized, unstirred, batch systems to simulate mineral interactions. Solids with an acid induced surface coating were tested in the high pressure column and no calcium was found to leave the column.