Experiment-Based Model for the Chemical Interactions between Geothermal Rocks, Supercritical Carbon Dioxide and Water Geothermal Project

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Last modified on July 22, 2011.

Project Title Experiment-Based Model for the Chemical Interactions between Geothermal Rocks, Supercritical Carbon Dioxide and Water
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 The geochemical model will be developed on a foundation of both theory and measurements of chemical and physical interactions between minerals, rocks, scCO2 and water. An experimentally validated reservoir modeling capability is critically important for the evaluation of the scCO2-EGS concept, the adoption of which could significantly enhance energy production in the USA.

Flow-through experiments will be performed using different mixtures of CO2 and aqueous fluids, with a focus on the critical steps of a reservoir transition from water to scCO2.

This experimentation will address a number of issues that are not accessible through batch experiments, including rock-fluid interactions with chemical and temperature gradients, impacts of porosity and permeability changes due to in-situ mineral transformations, and rate of water removal by anhydrous scCO2.

State California
Objectives Develop a new geochemical model capable of simulating an EGS-CO2 reservoir both during the transition from water to supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2).
Awardees (Company / Institution) Symyx Technologies, Inc.
Awardee Website http://www.symyx.com/
Partner 1 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000075
DOE Funding Level (total award amount) $3,000,000.00
Awardee Cost Share $1,004,705.00
Total Project Cost $4,004,705.00

Principal Investigator(s) Miroslav Petro, Symyx Technologies, Inc.
Other Principal Investigators Thomas McWaid, Symyx Technologies, Inc; Karsten Pruess, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Tianfu Xu, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Patrick Dobson, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Targets / Milestones - Determine the chemical interactions between relevant minerals and EGS-CO2 reservoir fluids under a variety of conditions.

- Characterize how the combination of chemical interactions, fluid flow and temperature distribution influence an EGS-CO2 system’s transition from water to scCO2, and the reservoir’s long-term flow dynamics and related power-generating performance.
- Provide crucial data for testing and refining existing geochemical models. Objective 2 will be achieved in Phases 2 and 3 of the proposed program, through development and use of a novel Rock-Fluid Dynamic Measurement System (RFDMS), respectively.

Location of Project Sunnyvale, CA

Impacts If successful, the simulation capabilities developed will help determine if CO2 can be used as a heat mining fluid for Enhanced Geothermal Systems.
Funding Source American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
References EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs[1]


  1. EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs