Evaluation of potential nonisothermal processes and heat transport during CO2 sequestration

Weon Shik Han, Greg A. Stillman, Meng Lu, Chuan Lu, Brian J. McPherson, Eungyu Park

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62 Citations (Scopus)


Injection of CO2 may perturb subsurface temperatures, leading to a dynamic temperature system in the storage formation and adjacent seal strata. In most cases, the individual effects from wellbore dynamics, solvation reactions, and phase changes are incremental, but collectively these relevant processes may cause significant temperature changes compared to ambient conditions. In this work, we evaluated several potential nonisothermal effects resulting from CO2 injection activity. These include the Joule-Thomson (heating and cooling) effect, exothermic CO2 dissolution, and heat changes associated with concomitant water vaporization. Results suggest that three effects: a) the adiabatic (de-) compression of CO2, b) the frictional energy losses, and c) conductive heat exchange between the injected CO2 and surrounding fluid/rock, govern the resulting CO2 thermal profiles within an injection well. In addition, as supercritical-phase CO2 comes into contact with formation brine, the CO2 will dissolve into the aqueous phase, and such dissolution is exothermic at typical conditions for CO2 sequestration. However, we still seek a better understanding of heat effects associated with water vaporization into the supercritical-phase CO2. Finally, sensitivity studies, simulating supercritical-phase CO2 injection into a 1-D radially symmetric domain, are conducted to evaluate the magnitude of different heat disequilibrium potentials and spatial location in the CO2 plume affected by thermal processes. In addition, time-scales associated with migration rates of temperature fronts, pressure pulses, and dissolved- and supercritical-phase CO2 profiles are investigated with a function of heat capacities of rock, different effective thermal conductivities, permeabilities, and porosities. Our results demonstrate that adiabatic CO 2 compression occurring in injection wells could have the most significant impact on the temperature change whilst the exothermic CO 2 dissolution occurred at the largest spatial domain.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberB07209
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jul 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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