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Institut für Wasser- und Umweltsystemmodellierung - IWS



"Numerical modeling of CO2 storage in geological formations - recent developments and challenges"

he development of numerical modeling capabilities for simulating CO2-injection and storage in geological formations has been enormously intensied in the last decade. Meanwhile, there are many working groups world-wide that address with their models dierent aspects of the injection and storage processes, trapping mechanisms, etc. In general, the models currently available focus on one of the dierent aspects like geohydraulic, geomechanical or geochemical processes. It can be observed that the dominant physical processes change both in space and time. For example, viscous forces and buoyancy govern the behavior of the CO2 plume during the injection in the near-eld of the injection well. Considering the need for storage over centuries, viscous and buoyant forces will lose their in uence and other processes become relevant such as dissolution, diusion, geochemical reactions etc. We believe that numerical modeling is an indispensable tool for the large-scale implementation of CO2 storage in the underground. Therefore, it is essential to identify the appropriate numerical model concept for a given problem or question. For example, modeling the pressure built-up in the near-eld of an injection well depends predominantly on viscous forces due to the high velocities caused by the injection. This can be modeled with a multiphase model neglecting compositional eects or geochemical reactions. On the other hand, if one is interested in the long-term fate of the CO2 in the reservoir, it requires a more sophisticated model that allows simulating compositional eects and geochemical reactions. We suggest for the near future to evaluate the existing modeling capabilities and to develop strategies for an effient and robust coupling of existing models. This can only be done by thoroughly understanding the interaction and scale-dependence (both in space and time) of the ongoing physical and chemical processes. It is necessary to improve the analytical description of the processes and to quantify their in uence, for example, by dimensional analyses and sensitivity studies.