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Heat and Mass Transfer

, Volume 49, Issue 11, pp 1603–1612 | Cite as

Onset of instability in CO2 sequestration into saline aquifer: scaling relationship and the effect of perturbed boundary

  • Reza AzinEmail author
  • Seyed Mostafa Jafari Raad
  • Shahriar Osfouri
  • Rooholla Fatehi
Original

Abstract

Storage and disposal of greenhouse gases in saline aquifers is an important solution for reduction of these gases from atmosphere. Understanding the concepts and mechanisms involved in the storage process, especially natural convection and their impact on long-term fate of injected CO2 are essential. Natural convection is an effective mechanism which increases solubility of carbon dioxide in the storage process. In this work, injection of carbon dioxide into aquifer is numerically simulated. First, numerical criteria are developed to provide numerical accuracy and stability by mesh resolution. Then, changes in input wave number in surface perturbation and order of element used in finite element method were analyzed. It was found that depending on Rayleigh number, there is a wave number at which instability occurs earlier and grows faster. Also, onset of CO2 convective mixing in saline aquifers was obtained and correlated for a number of field cases. Results show that onset of convection can be approximated by a scaling relationship for dimensionless time as a function of inverse square of Rayleigh number, Ra2, for Rayleigh range used in this work. This scaling relationship provides a predictive tool for onset of convection and also long-term fate of disposed CO2 in large scale geological sequestration.

Keywords

Convection Natural Convection Rayleigh Number Linear Stability Analysis Sherwood Number 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of symbols

C

CO2 concentration (mol/m3)

Ceq

Constant interface concentration (mol/m3)

c1, c2

Correlation constants

Cr

Courant number (−)

\(\overline{\text{c}}\)

Fraction of ultimate CO2 dissolution (−)

C*

Interface concentration due to imposed perturbation (mol/m3)

D

Molecular diffusion coefficient (m2/s)

Err

Numerical error in pure diffusion region (−)

FO, SO, TO

First-order, second-order, and third-order elements

H

Height of the porous medium (m)

k

Permeability of the porous medium (m−2)

K

Wave number

L

Length of the porous medium (m)

n

Summation index

N

Number of elements

P

Pressure (pa)

Pe

Peclet number (−)

Ra

Rayleigh number (−)

rand

Random function

Sh

Sherwood number (−)

t

Time (s)

t>c

Time of the onset of convection (s)

t>D

Dimensionless time (−)

t>Dc

Dimensionless time of the onset of convection (−)

U

Darcy velocity in x-coordinate (m/s)

v

Vector of Darcy velocity (m/s)

vl

Grid Darcy’s velocity (m/s)

w

Darcy velocity in z-coordinate (m/s)

x

Dimensionless distance in x-coordinate

z

Dimensionless distance in z-coordinate

∆l(l = x, z)

Grid sizes (L)

∆t

Simulation time-step (s)

Greek symbols

ρ>mix

Mixture CO2-brine density (kg/m3)

ρ0

Brine density (kg/m3)

Porosity of the porous medium (−)

ρ

Density difference between CO2 saturated brine and fresh brine (kg/m3)

β

Volumetric expansion factor (m3/mol)

μ

Brine viscosity (kg/m s)

Subscripts

Nu

Numerical solution

Pd-th

Analytical solution in pure diffusion region

x

Quantity in x-direction

z

Quantity in z-direction

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reza Azin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Seyed Mostafa Jafari Raad
    • 1
  • Shahriar Osfouri
    • 2
  • Rooholla Fatehi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Petroleum Engineering, Faculty of Oil, Gas, and Petrochemical EngineeringPersian Gulf UniversityBushehrIran
  2. 2.Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Oil, Gas, and Petrochemical EngineeringPersian Gulf UniversityBushehrIran
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringPersian Gulf UniversityBushehrIran

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