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Effects of Impurities on CO2 Sequestration in Saline Aquifers: Perspective of Interfacial Tension and Wettability

Chen, Cong, Chai, Zhuang, Shen, Weijun, Li, Weizhong
Industrial & engineering chemistry process design and development 2018 v.57 no.1 pp. 371-379
aquifers, carbon dioxide, carbon sequestration, contact angle, greenhouse gas emissions, hydrogen sulfide, methane, molecular dynamics, process design, silica, surface tension, wettability
In recent years, the reduction of CO₂ emissions has become a joint effort throughout the world, and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is an effective approach to solving the problem of CO₂ emissions. In the present study, the effects of adding CH₄, Ar, and H₂S to CO₂ on the interfacial tension (IFT) and wettability (contact angle, CA) of the CO₂/water/silica system have been investigated using molecular dynamics simulation methods at 20 MPa and 318 K when the molar concentration of impurity gas was fixed at 20%. For the conditions studied, (1) CH₄ has no significant effect; (2) Ar leads to a higher IFT, a larger CA on silica surfaces with a high hydroxyl density, and a smaller CA on silica surfaces with a low hydroxyl density; and (3) H₂S causes a decrease of the IFT and an increase of the CA. Capillary pressure and gas storage capacity were predicted using IFT and CA data, and the variation of IFT and CA were explained based on density profiles normal to the gas/water and gas/silica interfaces. These findings might be helpful for better understanding the effects of impurities on CCS.