Development of Chemical Model to Predict the Interactions between Supercritical CO2 and Fluid, Rocks in EGS Reservoirs Geothermal Project

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Last modified on July 22, 2011.

Project Title Development of Chemical Model to Predict the Interactions between Supercritical CO2 and Fluid, Rocks in EGS Reservoirs
Project Type / Topic 1 Recovery Act: Enhanced Geothermal Systems Component Research and Development/Analysis
Project Type / Topic 2 Supercritical Carbon Dioxide / Reservoir Rock Chemical Interactions
Project Description In order to develop this model, databases will be assembled and/or updated for thermodynamic and kinetic rate laws for water/brine/rock/CO2 interactions at the pressures and temperatures common to EGS systems. In addition to a literature search, extrapolation of existing data and experimental laboratory work will be conducted to calibrate and verify the datasets.

The expected outcome will be a new chemical model capable of evaluating the thermodynamic properties of fluid and formation rocks; to estimate kinetic rate laws of CO2/saline/rock interactions, in high P, T, with phase configurations ranging for single aqueous, SC CO2/aqueous and single SC CO2 phases.

State Utah
Objectives Develop a reactive-transport model that predicts mineral precipitation and dissolution reactions within an EGS reservoir as well as EGS surface facilities, as supercritical CO2 is injected into EGS reservoirs.
Awardees (Company / Institution) University of Utah
Awardee Website
Partner 1 University of Wyoming
Partner 2 Los Alamos National Laboratory

Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000075
DOE Funding Level (total award amount) $944,707.00
Awardee Cost Share $606,699.00
Total Project Cost $1,551,406.00

Principal Investigator(s) Chuan Lu, Energy & Geoscience Institute, University of Utah
Other Principal Investigators Weon Shik Han, Energy & Geoscience Institute, University of Utah; John P. Kaszuba, University of Wyoming; Peter C. Lichtner, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Brian J. McPherson, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Utah; Joseph Moore, Energy & Geoscience Institute, University of Utah; and Peter Rose, Energy & Geoscience Institute, University of Utah.
Targets / Milestones - Collect thermodynamic equilibrium constants and kinetic rate laws and associated parameters and constants for geochemical reactions relevant to the pressure and temperature of EGS systems;

- Modify existing reactive-transport models to account for chemical reactions at variable P, T and CO2 saturation conditions of the EGS system;
- Apply the model to investigate the interactions of supercritical CO2 with reservoir rocks.

The code modifications will provide essential tools to evaluate the interactions between SC/dissolved CO2 with reservoir rocks for aqueous, two phase and anhydrous conditions in EGS systems. Simulations with the modified simulators will use experimental and literature data to calibrate and verify models in an iterative manner.

Investigations conducted within this task will provide deeper insight into the behavior and effects of SC CO2 in EGS reservoirs. Field-scale simulations will be conducted to assess the possibility and suitable conditions for using CO2 as a working fluid and acidization agent.

Location of Project Salt Lake City, UT

Impacts If successful, the investigation will provide insights into the behavior and effects of supercritical C02 in EGS reservoirs. Database development will provide parameters and data that is lacking within the scientific literature
Funding Source American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
References EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs[1]


  1. EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs