Modeling CO2 Movement in the Subsurface
The main purpose of the following CO2 modeling methods is to support the design of a storage site based on accurately predicting the fate of CO2 over time.
Mathematical equations are used to simulate physical processes so that the dynamic behavior of physical systems, such as subsurface geology, can be visualized and investigated based on computer simulations. Numerical modeling and simulations of CO2 injection in the subsurface environment enable us to explore and gain new insights into new technology and to estimate the performance of complex systems under realistic underground conditions, such as high temperature and pressure.
It is imperative for the long-term success of carbon capture, utilization and storage that the simulators used to predict the performance and safety of full-scale CO2 injections have a solid scientific foundation; incorporate all relevant physical, chemical, and biological processes; and be thoroughly validated. PNNL is working to incorporate new and advanced process descriptions into PNNL's state-of-the-art reservoir-scale simulator, STOMP-CO2, and to carefully verify the code’s performance against well-defined benchmark problems. At the same time, researchers are undertaking fundamental studies of multiphase flow at the pore scale using laboratory equipment called micromodels and corresponding numerical simulations to develop improved process descriptions.