Co-sequestration of SO2 with supercritical CO2 in carbonates: An experimental study of capillary trapping, relative permeability, and capillary pressure

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In this study we performed three categories of steady- and unsteady-state core-flooding experiments to investigate capillary trapping, relative permeability, and capillary pressure, in a scCO2+SO2/brine/limestone system at elevated temperature and pressure conditions, i.e., 60°C and 19.16MPa. We used a Madison limestone core sample acquired from the Rock Springs Uplift in southwest Wyoming. We carried out two sets of steady-state drainage-imbibition relative permeability experiments with different initial brine saturations to study hysteresis. We found that the final scCO2+SO2 drainage relative permeability was very low, i.e., 0.04. We also observed a rapid reduction in the scCO2-rich phase imbibition relative permeability curve, which resulted in a high residual trapping. The results showed that between 62.8% and more than 76% of the initial scCO2+SO2 at the end of drainage was trapped by capillary trapping mechanism (trapping efficiency). We found that at higher initial brine saturations, the trapping efficiency was higher. The maximum initial and residual scCO2-rich phase saturations at the end of primary drainage and imbibition were 0.525 and 0.329, respectively. Each drainage-imbibition cycle was followed by a dissolution process to re-establish Sw=1. The dissolution brine relative permeabilities for both cycles were also obtained. We characterized the scCO2+SO2/brine capillary pressure hysteresis behavior through unsteady-state primary drainage, imbibition, and secondary drainage experiments. We observed negative imbibition capillary pressure curve indicative of possible wettability alteration throughout the experiments due to contact with scCO2+SO2/brine fluid system. The trapping results were compared to those reported in literature for other carbonate core samples. We noticed slightly more residual trapping in our sample, which might be attributed to heterogeneity, different viscosity ratio, and pore-space topologies. The impact of dynamic effects, i.e., high brine flow rate imbibition tests, on trapping of the scCO2-rich phase was also explored. We performed two imbibition experiments with relatively high brine flow rates. The residual scCO2 saturation dropped to 0.291 and 0.262 at the end of the first and second imbibition tests, i.e., 11.5% and 20.4%, respectively, compared to 0.329 under capillary-dominated regime.




Akbarabadi, M., & Piri, M. (2015). Co-sequestration of SO2 with supercritical CO2 in carbonates: An experimental study of capillary trapping, relative permeability, and capillary pressure. Advances in Water Resources, 77, 44–56.

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