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Title: Experimental Measurements and Molecular Simulation of Carbon Dioxide Adsorption on Carbon Surface

Geological storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) in depleted gas reservoirs represents a cost-effective solution to mitigate global carbon emissions. The surface chemistry of the reservoir rock, pressure, temperature, and moisture content are critical factors that determine the CO2 adsorption capacity and storage mechanisms. Shale-gas reservoirs are good candidates for this application. However, the interactions of CO2 and organic content still need further investigation. The objectives of this paper are to (i) experimentally investigate the effect of pressure and temperature on the CO2 adsorption capacity of activated carbon, (ii) quantify the nanoscale interfacial interactions between CO2 and the activated carbon surface using Monte Carlo molecular modeling, and (iii) quantify the correlation between the adsorption isotherms of activated carbon-CO2 system and the actual carbon dioxide adsorption on shale-gas rock at different temperatures and geochemical conditions. Activated carbon is used as a proxy for kerogen. The objectives aim at obtaining a better understanding of the behavior of CO2 injection and storage into shale-gas formations.

We performed experimental measurements and Grand Canonical Monte Carlo (GCMC) simulations of CO2 adsorption onto activated carbon. The experimental work involved measurements of the high-pressure adsorption capacity of activated carbon using pure CO2 gas. Subsequently, we performed a series of GCMC simulations to calculate CO2 adsorption capacity on activated carbon to validate the experimental results. The simulated activated carbon structure consists of graphite sheets with a distance between the sheets equal to the average actual pore size of the activated carbon sample. Adsorption isotherms were calculated and modeled for each temperature value at various pressures.

The adsorption of CO2 on activated carbon is favorable from the energy and kinetic point of view. This is due to the presence of a wide micro to meso pore sizes that can accommodate a large amount of CO2 particles. The results of the experimental work show that excess adsorption results for gas mixtures lie in between the results for pure components. The simulation results agree with the experimental measurements. The strength of CO2 adsorption depends on both surface chemistry and pore size of activated carbon. Once strong adsorption sites within nanoscale network are established, gas adsorption even at very low pressure is governed by pore width rather than chemical composition. The outcomes of this paper provides new insights about the parameters affecting CO2 adsorption and storage in shale-gas reservoirs, which is critical for developing standalone representative models for CO2 adsorption on pure organic carbon.

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2022 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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