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Conference Papers Year : 2023

Experimental characterization of Rayleigh-Taylor convection in granular media for CO2 sequestration by dissolution trapping


A large fraction of greenhouse gases (about 60%) released into the atmosphere are due to CO2 emissions from industrial processes and the burning of fossil fuels [1]. One of the strategies employed to reduce the emissions is rapping them securely in the subsurface [2-4]. Dissolution trapping, in particular, involves injection of CO2 into the subsurface where the supercritical CO2 (sCO2) dissolves in the aquifer brine and forms a CO2 enriched layer within solution. The interface between the high density CO2 rich brine on the top and the ambient low density aquifer water below results in destabilization of the aforementioned layer [2-4]. This leads to a gravitational instability which then causes a natural convection of CO2 rich brine to lower layers, thereby accelerating further dissolution of the sCO2 into the fresh brine. The study of Brouzet et al. shows that traditional continuume scale, Darcy law-governed, models underestimate the timescales of the convective dissolution’s dynamics, owing to local heterogeneity in the pore-scale flow, and that it may thus be necessary to take pore-scale fluctuations into account [5]. We present here a 2D experimental study using miscible analog fluids with a contrast in densities to understand the convective transport of the dissolved sCO2. The fluids and the granular media are refractive index matched, which renders the medium transparent and helps in accurate quantification of experimental findings at various Rayleigh (Ra) and Darcy numbers (Da). Darcy scale simulations are used to complement the two-dimensional experimental measurements and it was found that Darcy scale simulations underpredict the experimental findings by several orders of magnitude, which is consistent with the findings by Brouzet et al. We investigate convective dynamics for various values of the number by changing the density of fluids, the properties of the granular medium (permeability, size of the granular medium) which determines the size of the instability with respect to pore size. When that number is much smaller than 1, obvious causes for the failure of the continuum scale description can be excluded, yet discrepancies remain between the experimental results and the simulations. References: [1] Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC 2014. [2] Emami-Meybodi, H., Hassanzadeh, H., Green, C. P., & Ennis-King, J. (2015). Convective dissolution of CO2 in saline aquifers: Progress in modeling and experiments. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 40, 238-266. [3] Pau, G. S., Bell, J. B., Pruess, K., Almgren, A. S., Lijewski, M. J., & Zhang, K. (2010). High-resolution simulation and characterization of density-driven flow in CO2 storage in saline aquifers. Advances in Water Resources, 33(4), 443-455. [4] Meunier, P., & Nadal, F. (2018). From a steady plume to periodic puffs during confined carbon dioxide dissolution. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 855, 1-27. [5] Brouzet, C., Méheust, Y., & Meunier, P. (2022). CO2 convective dissolution in a three-dimensional granular porous medium: An experimental study. Physical Review Fluids, 7(3), 033802.
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insu-04080555 , version 1 (25-04-2023)





Shabina Ashraf, Jayabrata Dhar, François Nadal, Patrice Meunier, Yves Méheust. Experimental characterization of Rayleigh-Taylor convection in granular media for CO2 sequestration by dissolution trapping. EGU General Assembly 2023, European Geosciences Union, Apr 2023, Vienna, Austria. pp.EGU23-17523, ⟨10.5194/egusphere-egu23-17523⟩. ⟨insu-04080555⟩
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