ABSTRACT

Numerical geochemical modeling was used to study the effects on pore-water composition and mineralogy from carbon dioxide (CO2) injection into the Pennsylvanian Morrow B Sandstone in the Farnsworth Unit in northern Texas to evaluate its potential for long-term CO2 sequestration. Speciation modeling showed the present Morrow B formation water to be supersaturated with respect to an assemblage of zeolite, clay, carbonate, mica, and aluminum hydroxide minerals and quartz. The principal accessory minerals in the Morrow B, feldspars and chlorite, were predicted to dissolve. A reaction-path model in which CO2 was progressively added up to its solubility limit into the Morrow B formation water showed a decrease in pH from its initial value of 7 to approximately 4.1 to 4.2, accompanied by the precipitation of small amounts of quartz, diaspore, and witherite. As the resultant CO2-charged fluid reacted with more of the Morrow B mineral matrix, the model predicted a rise in pH, reaching a maximum of 5.1 to 5.2 at a water–rock ratio of 10:1. At a higher water–rock ratio of 100:1, the pH rose to only 4.6 to 4.7. Diaspore, quartz, and nontronite precipitated consistently regardless of the water–rock ratio, but the carbonate minerals siderite, witherite, dolomite, and calcite precipitated at higher pH values only. As a result, CO2 sequestration by mineral trapping was predicted to be important only at low water–rock ratios, accounting for a maximum of 2% of the added CO2 at the lowest water–rock ratio investigated of 10:1, which corresponds to a small porosity increase of approximately 0.14% to 0.15%.

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