Chemical reaction prevents spread of carbon dioxide

The paper ‘Onset of convection in a porous medium in the presence of chemical reaction’, which was published in the journal Physical Review E, may have implications for CO2 storage in saline aqufiers.

The research was conducted by the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge. It showed that, depending on the strength of the reaction between dissolved CO2 and porous rock, distinct scenarios of CO2 movement may occur in deep saline rock formations. It is in theory possible to manipulate the strength of reactions, thereby engineering the movement of CO2, keeping it in one area or moving it to another within the aquifer.

– This research shows how rigorous mathematical analysis coupled with strong physical understanding can help us grasp the complex interactions of flow and reaction in a carbon reservoir. Such knowledge will be valuable in guiding future approaches to carbon storage, said project leader Dr. Silvana Cardoso, according to the Carbon Capture Journal.