Impact of interphase component transfer on CO2 distribution and pH during CO2 injection in the subsurface

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Single phase CO2 injection and CO2 water alternating gas (WAG) injection processes are simulated using reactive transport modelling to understand the inter-phase component transfer between CO2, brine and oil, and to address geochemical (aqueous) reactions induced by CO2 in the near wellbore region. In this research, calculations are performed using a numerical one-dimensional cartesian model with homogenous properties. We investigate how fast the pH changes as CO2 is injected into the system and how the presence of oil affects the velocity of the pH front. We measure the velocity of the front at which oil becomes completely desaturated with respect to CO2 – referred to as the “CO2 desaturation front” and compare it with the classical Buckley-Leverett saturation front displacement during WAG injection. We also study the impact of the WAG cycles on the CO2 desaturation front velocity and the pH change. The study showed that the presence of hydrocarbons in the model buffers and delays the pH drop. By the end of each water cycle all the CO2 was removed from the contacted oil phase within the first few meters from the well. The CO2 desaturation front travels at approximately one twentieth of the phase saturation front velocity during the first three WAG cycles, but it then stopped for later cycles, which gives an indication of the extent of the desaturation of oil. During the WAG injection, different pH fronts developed due to the impact of each cycle on the fluid composition and component transfer. The pH reduction during the last WAG cycles was greater near the injection well as most of the lighter hydrocarbon components were displaced out of the residual “oil”, meaning the CO2 content of this residual phase was higher than for initial cycles. This would result in a greater risk of calcite dissolution around the injection well if there were calcite present in the rock formation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100132
JournalCarbon Capture Science and Technology
Early online date4 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • CO desaturation front
  • CO injection
  • CO inter-phase transfer
  • WAG injection
  • pH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy (miscellaneous)

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