Control of brine composition over reactive transport processes in calcium carbonate rock dissolution: Time-lapse imaging of evolving dissolution patterns

Priyanka Agrawal, Hamed Aslannejad, Arjen Mascini, Tom Bultreys, Amir Raoof, Veerle Cnudde, Ian B. Butler, Mariëtte Wolthers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This study investigates the impact of brine composition—specifically calcium ions and NaCl-based salinity—on the development of dissolution features in Ketton, a porous calcium carbonate rock. Utilizing a laboratory XMT (X-ray microtomography) scanner, we captured time-lapse in situ images of Ketton samples throughout various dissolution experiments, conducting four distinct flow-through experiments with differing brine solutions at a flow rate of 0.26 ml min⁻1. The scans yielded a voxel size of 6 μm, enabling the assessment of the temporal evolution of porosity and pore structure through image analysis and permeability evaluations via single-phase fluid flow simulations employing direct numerical solutions and network modeling, as opposed to direct measurement.

Time-lapse imaging technique has delineated the extent to which the concentrations of CaCl₂ and NaCl in the injecting solution control the structural evolution of dissolution patterns, subsequently triggering the development of characteristic dissolution pattern. The inflow solution with no Ca2+ ions and with the minimal salt content manifested maximum dissolution near the sample inlet, coupled with the formation of numerous dissolution channels, i.e., wormholes. Conversely, solutions with a trace amount of Ca2⁺ ions induced focused dissolution, resulting in the formation of sparsely located channels. Inflow solutions with high concentrations of both Ca2⁺ ions and salt facilitated uniformly dispersed dissolution, primarily within microporous domains, initiating particle detachment and displacement and leading to localized pore-clogging. The relative increase in permeability, in each experiment, was correlated with the developed dissolution pattern. It was discerned that varying ratios of salt and calcium concentrations in the injected solution systematically influenced image-based permeability simulations and porosity, allowing for the depiction of an empirical porosity-permeability relationship.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105835
JournalApplied geochemistry
Early online date24 Nov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Nov 2023

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