Energi og miljø

The force of crystallization and fracture propagation during in-situ carbonation of peridotite

van Noort, R. , Wolterbeek, T.K.T. , Drury, M.R. , Kandianis, M.T. , Spiers, C.J.
Minerals, Vol. 7, no. 10 (2017), 190
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Subsurface mineralization of CO2 by injection into (hydro-)fractured peridotites has been proposed as a carbon sequestration method. It is envisaged that the expansion in solid volume associated with the mineralization reaction leads to a build-up of stress, resulting in the opening of further fractures. We performed CO2-mineralization experiments on simulated fractures in peridotite materials under confined, hydrothermal conditions, to directly measure the induced stresses. Only one of these experiments resulted in the development of a stress, which was less than 5% of the theoretical maximum. We also performed one method control test in which we measured stress development during the hydration of MgO. Based on microstructural observations, as well as XRD and TGA measurements, we infer that, due to pore clogging and grain boundary healing at growing mineral interfaces, the transport of CO2, water and solutes into these sites inhibited reaction-related stress development. When grain boundary healing was impeded by the precipitation of silica, a small stress did develop. This implies that when applied to in-situ CO2-storage, the mineralization reaction will be limited by transport through clogged fractures, and proceed at a rate that is likely too slow for the process to accommodate the volumes of CO2 expected for sequestration.
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