Influence of stearic acid and alumina nanofluid on CO2 wettability of calcite substrates: Implications for CO2 geological storage in carbonate reservoirs

Abstract
Hypothesis: Atmospheric CO2 emissions trigger global warming and climate change challenges. Thus, geological CO2 storage appears to be the most viable choice to mitigate CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. However, the adsorption capacity of reservoir rock in the presence of diverse geological conditions, including organic acids, temperature, and pressure, can cause reduced certainty for CO2 storage and injection problems. Wettability is critical in measuring the adsorption behavior of rock in various reservoir fluids and conditions.

Experiment: We systematically evaluated the CO2-wettability of calcite substrates at geological conditions (323 K and 0.1, 10, and 25 MPa) in the presence of stearic acid (a replicate realistic reservoir organic material contamination). Similarly, to reverse the effects of organics on wettability, we treated calcite substrates with various alumina nanofluid concentrations (0.05, 0.1, 0.25, and 0.75 wt%) and evaluated the CO2-wettability of calcite substrates at similar geological conditions.

Findings: Stearic acid profoundly affects the contact angle of calcite substrates where wettability shifts from intermediate to CO2-wet conditions, reducing the CO2 geological storage potential. The treatment of organic acid-aged calcite substrates with alumina nanofluid reversed the wettability to a more hydrophilic state, increasing CO2 storage certainty. Further, the optimum concentration displaying the optimum potential for changing the wettability in organic acid-aged calcite substrates was 0.25 wt%. The effect of organics and nanofluids should be augmented to improve the feasibility of CO2 geological projects at the industrial scale for reduced containment security.

Citation
Arain, Z.-U.-A., Aftab, A., Ali, M., Altaf, M., & Sarmadivaleh, M. (2023). Influence of stearic acid and alumina nanofluid on CO2 wettability of calcite substrates: Implications for CO2 geological storage in carbonate reservoirs. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 646, 567–575. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2023.05.066

Acknowledgements
The first and second authors acknowledge the Australian Government’s scholarship (Research Training Program) for their higher studies and Curtin University for supervision and resources.

Publisher
Elsevier BV

Journal
Journal of colloid and interface science

DOI
10.1016/j.jcis.2023.05.066

PubMed ID
37210904

Additional Links
https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0021979723008573

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