Research at Cepac is structured in grouped laboratories, organized to attend internal and external specific research demands.
In this lab, experiments are carried out in autoclaves simulating geological storage conditions (elevated pressure and temperature, in which carbon dioxide is in a supercritical state) for the study of the interactions between CO2, water and reservoir (and caprock) minerals. Moreover, carbonation at milder conditions of industrial wastes (such as steel slag) is investigated in this lab.
Responsible for the complete petrographical analysis, with determination of mineral composition, textures, crystalline structures and porosity of reservoir and caprock samples, for characterization and evaluation of quality parameters for CO2 geological storage.
Equipped with state-of-the-art computational resources, this lab carries out numerical simulations of mineral alterations induced by CO2 injection on the reservoir and caprock, aiming to validate experimental observations and to assist the monitoring activities. Simulations are performed by modeling the chemical equilibrium of the CO2-water-rock system, kinetics of dissolution and precipitation of mineral phases, as well as mass transport by multi-phase flow, using software packages like PHREEQC, TOUGHREACT and The Geochemist’s Workbench, among others.
This lab performs mineralogical and physio-chemical characterization of coals, using several techniques such as elemental analysis, thermogravimetry, optical microscopy (reflected light and fluorescence), among others. These allow to evaluate coal properties like ash content, organic matter, reflective power, cleat permeability and adsorption isotherms, among others, which are relevant for CCS projects in coal beds.
In this lab, samples of cement and steel used in wellbore completion are submitted to high pressure and temperatures in presence of CO2. These experiments allow to evaluate the degree of corrosion caused by carbon dioxide and the possible leakage pathways in the vicinity of injection and/or abandoned wells.