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Hybrid Multi-Scale Modeling to Simulate Leakage of Carbon Dioxide Sequestered in Geologic Formations

Speaker: Mary Kang, Graduate Student
Series: EEWR Brown Bag Seminars
Location: Engineering Quad E219
Date/Time: Friday, March 11, 2011, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.


The potential for leakage of carbon dioxide sequestered in geologic formations requires an understanding of the behavior of brine and carbon dioxide under various scenarios including leakage through abandoned wells, faults and other pathways. Three-dimensional (3-D) numerical multi-phase flow simulators such as TOUGH2 and ECLIPSE allow for a suite of subsurface processes to be modeled, some of which are required to evaluate the potential for leakage. However, simpler models can efficiently answer many practical questions on leakage and other considerations surrounding Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) implementation. Vertical equilibrium models assuming a sharp interface between the fluids, brine and carbon dioxide, can be vertically-integrated to develop two-dimensional (2-D) numerical models. Analytical solutions describing the small-scale process of leakage around wells and faults can be implemented within coarse-grid vertically-integrated numerical models as sub-scale corrections. Such hybrid multi-scale models capture important processes using different models for processes at different time and length scales using a fraction of computing power required for typical 3-D numerical simulations. Therefore, an analytical solution for carbon dioxide-brine interface upconing around faults is developed and implemented in a vertically-integrated two-dimensional numerical model. Applications will focus on faults in the Illinois Basin, the site of a large-scale CCS demonstration project.