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The Interplay between Experimental Data and Uncertainty Analysis in Quantifying CO2 Trapping during Geological Carbon Storage

Clean Energy and Sustainability. 2024, 2(1), 10001;
PETROBRAS, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 20231-030, Brazil
Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received: 05 Dec 2023    Accepted: 10 Jan 2024    Published: 16 Jan 2024   


Numerical simulation is a widely used tool for studying CO2 storage in porous media. It enables the representation of trapping mechanisms and CO2 retention capacity. The complexity of the involved physicochemical phenomena necessitates multiphase flow, accurate fluid and rock property representation, and their interactions. These include CO2 solubility, diffusion, relative permeabilities, capillary pressure hysteresis, and mineralization, all crucial in CO2 trapping during carbon storage simulations. Experimental data is essential to ensure accurate quantification. However, due to the extensive data required, modeling under uncertainty is often needed to assess parameter impacts on CO2 trapping and its interaction with geological properties like porosity and permeability. This work proposes a framework combining laboratory data and stochastic parameter distribution to map uncertainty in CO2 retention over time. Published data representing solubility, residual trapping, and mineral trapping are used to calibrate prediction models. Geological property variations, like porosity and permeability, are coupled to quantify uncertainty. Results from a saline sandstone aquifer model demonstrate significant variation in CO2 trapping, ranging from 17% (P10 estimate) to 56% (P90), emphasizing the importance of considering uncertainty in CO2 storage projects. Quadratic response surfaces and Monte Carlo simulations accurately capture this uncertainty, resulting in calibrated models with an R-squared coefficient above 80%. In summary, this work provides a practical and comprehensive framework for studying CO2 retention in porous media, addressing uncertainty through stochastic parameter distributions, and highlighting its importance in CO2 storage projects. 
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