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Two-dimensional micromodels for studying the convective dissolution of carbon dioxide in 2D water-saturated porous media

Abstract : Convective dissolution is a perennial trapping mechanism of carbon dioxide in geological formations saturated with an aqueous phase. This process, which couples dissolution of supercritical CO2, convection of the liquid containing the dissolved CO2, and mixing of the latter within the liquid, has so far not been studied in two-dimensional porous media. In order to do so, two-dimensional (2D) porous micromodels (patterned Hele-Shaw cells) have been fabricated from UV-curable NOA63 glue. NOA63 is used instead of PDMS, which is permeable to CO2 and does not allow for a controlled no flux boundary condition at the walls. The novel fabrication protocol proposed here, based on the bonding of a patterned photo-lithographed NOA63 layer on a flat NOA63 base, shows good reproducibility regardless of the patterns' typical size, and allows for easy filling of the cell despite the small value of the gap. A pressure chamber allows pressurizing the CO2 and outside of the flow cell up to 10 bars. Experiments were performed in 11 different porous media geometries. As expected, a gravitational fingering instability is observed upon injection of gaseous carbon dioxide in the cell, resulting in the downwards migration of dissolved CO2 plumes through the 2D porous structure. The initial wavelength of the fingers is larger in the presence of a hexagonal lattice of pillars. This effect can be correctly predicted from the theory for the gravitational instability in a Hele-Shaw cell devoid of pillars, provided that the permeability of the hexagonal porous medium is considered in the theory instead of that of the Hele-Shaw cell. Fluctuations around the theoretical prediction observed in the data are mostly attributed to a hitherto unknown weak locking of the wavelength on the distance between closest pillars.
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Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, November 9, 2022 - 8:36:35 AM
Last modification on : Friday, November 25, 2022 - 3:55:19 AM


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Niloy De, Naval Singh, Remy Fulcrand, Yves Méheust, Patrice Meunier, et al.. Two-dimensional micromodels for studying the convective dissolution of carbon dioxide in 2D water-saturated porous media. Lab on a Chip, 2022, 22, pp.4645-4655. ⟨10.1039/D2LC00540A⟩. ⟨insu-03843501⟩



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