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A reactive transport model of CO2-water-rock interaction in a push-pull test in basaltic rocks


Basaltic rock formations have been proposed as suitable hosts for CO2 storage. Basalts have a high content in silicate minerals, Ca and Mg, which neutralize the acidic CO2 injected solution. Moreover, under such conditions the formation of stable carbonate minerals, which is the safest way to store CO2, is favored. A series of CO2 injection tests were carried out at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory site (Palisades, New York, USA) in 2005 to assess the basalt neutralization capacity [1, 3]. The tests were conducted in the contact zone between the Palisades sill and the underlying Newark Basin sediments. The Palisades sill consists of dolerite rich in plagioclase and pyroxene [2]. The contact zone between the dolerite and the underlying sediments is characterized by chilled dolerite and contact-metamorphosed sedimentary rocks. The essays consisted of single-well push-pull tests in which an CO2-rich solution was injected in the aquifer and pumped after an incubation period. NaCl was added as a inert tracer. In this work, we focus on one of those pushpull tests. HYTEC code [4] was used to make a reactive transport model. Hydraulic and transport parameters were adjusted by fitting the chloride breakthrough curve. The model shows that the chloride arrival is mainly controlled by the product of the porosity times the longitudinal dispersion. Chemistry results show that the composition of the system (total dissolved inorganic carbon, Ca, Na, and Mg) is governed by the dissolution rate of the minerals. In addition, ion exchange is suggested by Na data. As a future work, modeling of isotopic data to better quantify the dissolution rates is considered.

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