Experimental and numerical simulation study of the mineral sequestration mechanism of the Shiqianfeng saline aquifers in the Ordos Basin, Northwest China
This study focused on typical injection layers of deep saline aquifers in the Shiqianfeng Formation used in the Carbon Capture and Sequestration Demonstration Projects in the Ordos Basin, Northwest China. The study employed experiments and numerical simulations to investigate the mechanism of CO2 mineral sequestration in these deep saline aquifers. The experimental results showed that the dissolved minerals are plagioclase, hematite, illite–smectite mixed layer clay and illite, whereas the precipitated minerals are quartz (at 55, and 70 °C) and kaolinite (at 70 °C). There are rare carbonate mineral precipitations at the experimental time scale, while the precipitation of quartz as a product of the dissolution of silicate minerals and some intermediate minerals rich in K and Mg that transform to clay minerals, reveals the possibility of carbonate precipitation at the longer time scale. These results are consistent with some results previously reported in the literature. We calibrated the kinetic parameters of mineral dissolution and precipitation by these experimental results and then simulated the CO2 mineral sequestration under deep saline aquifer conditions. The simulation results showed that the dissolved minerals are albite, anorthite and minor hematite, whereas the precipitated minerals are calcite, kaolinite and smectite at 55 and 70 °C. The geochemical reaction of illite is more complex. At 55 °C, illite is dissolved at the relatively lag time and transformed to dawsonite; at 70 °C, illite is precipitated in the early reaction period and then transformed to kaolinite. Based on this research, sequestrated CO2 minerals, which are mainly related to the temperature of deep saline aquifers in Shiqianfeng Fm., are calcite and dawsonite at lower temperature, and calcite at higher temperature. The simulation results also establish that calcite could precipitate over a time scale of thousands of years, and the higher the temperature the sooner such a process would occur due to increased reaction rates. These characteristics are conducive, not only to the earlier occurrence of mineral sequestration, but also increase the sequestration capacity of the same mineral components. For a sequestration period of 10,000 years, we determined that the mineral sequestration capacity is 0.786 kg/m3 at 55 °C, and 2.180 kg/m3 at 70 °C. Furthermore, the occurrence of mineral sequestration indirectly increases the solubility of CO2 in the early reaction period, but this decreases with the increase in temperature.