Fundamental study of migration of supercritical CO2 in porous media under conditions of saline aquifers in support of carbon capture and storage (CO2FLIP)

Jointly sponsored by EPSRC (EP/I010971/1) and NSFC China

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) has been recognised as one of the measures needed to mitigate the climate change. Emitting is avoided by capturing CO2 from stationary sources and transporting it into a suitable storage location. Geological storage in deep saline aquifers is one of the most favourable storage options due to its wide availability and large storage space.

Our research aims at developing fundamental understanding and quantitative description of CO2 migration in porous media at conditions relevant to saline aquifers encountered in carbon sequestration, and hence contributing to mitigating climate change.

The project brings together engineers and geologists from the UK and China to undertake a comprehensive research programme comprising combined experimental (flow and mineral-fluid interactions), computational and theoretical investigations. The complex two-phase flow phenomena in porous rocks are experimentally investigated using a purposely-built supercritical CO2 test facility equipped with a Custom-built MRI at Tsinghua operating at conditions typical of deep saline aquifers.

Complementary experiments on mineral-fluid interactions are conducted at Leeds studying the interactions between the fluids and rocks reactions of the rocks. The computational studies led by Sheffield employ various numerical techniques, combining mesoscale modelling using Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM), multi-physics modelling and conventional CFD to investigate the two-phase flow physics, and fluid-fluid and fluid-rock interactions at sub-pore levels. The ultimate aim of the investigations is to use the new experimental and computational data to produce correlations/relationships for use with large scale simulations as well as developing further fundamental understanding of phenomena of CO2/brine two-phase flow in porous media.


(From left to right: Yingjie Fan, Ruina Xu, Peixue Jiang, Rongkai Lu, Shuisheng He, Dubravka Pokrajac and Bruce Yardley.)