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Authors: Montegrossi, G.* 
Cantucci, B.* 
Bicocchi, G.* 
Vaselli, O.* 
Quattrocchi, F.* 
Issue Date: Sep-2009
Keywords: reactive transport modeling
CO2 storage
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.01. General::03.01.01. Analytical and numerical modeling 
Abstract: CO2 Capture & Storage (CCS) in saline aquifer is one of the most promising technologies for reducing anthropogenic emission of CO2. Feasibility studies for CO2 geo-sequestration in Italy have increased in the last few years. Before planning a CCS plant an appropriate precision and accuracy in the prediction of the reservoir evolution during injection, in terms of both geochemical calculation and fluid flow properties, is demanded. In this work a geochemical model will be presented for an offshore well in the Tyrrhenian Sea where the injection of 1.5 million ton/year of CO2 is planned. The dimension of the trapping structure requires to study an area of about 100 km2 and 4 km deep. Consequently, three different simulations were performed by means of TOUGHREACT code with Equation Of State module ECO2N. The first simulation is a stratigraphic column with a size of 110*110*4,000 meters and a metric resolution in the injection/cap-rock area (total of 8,470 elements), performed in order to asses the geochemical evolution of the cap-rock and to ensure the sealing of the system. The second simulation is at large scale in order to assess the CO2 path from the injection towards the spill point (total of about 154,000 elements). During this simulation, the effect of the full coupling of chemistry with fluid flow and a relevant effect in the expected CO2 diffusion velocity was recognized. Owing to the effect of chemical reaction and coupling terms (porosity/permeability variation with mineral dissolution/precipitation), the diffusion velocity results to be 20% slower than in a pure fluid flow simulation. In order to give a better picture of this 'barrier' effect, where the diffusion of the CO2-rich acidic water into the carbonate reservoir originates a complex precipitation/dissolution area, a small volume simulation with a 0.1 m grid was elapsed. This effect may potentially i) have a big impact on CO2 sequestration due to the reduction of available storage volume reached by the CO2 plume in 20 years and/or the enhanced injection pressure and ii) outline the relevance of a full geochemical simulation in an accurate prediction of the reservoir properties.
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