NUPUS: Research Project "Modelling of biofilm growth and its influence on CO2 and water (two-phase) flow in porous media"

Department of Hydromechanics and Modelling of Hydrosystems

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) within the International Research Training Group (ITRG 1938) "Non-linearities and Upscaling in Porous Media (NUPUS)" from 1st January 2007 until 31st May 2011


The sequestration of CO2 into deep geologic formations is currently discussed as a potential way to mitigate the greenhouse effect by reducing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Separation of CO2 from flue gases of power plants and injection into the subsurface could help in reducing CO2 emissions. It is intended that the injected CO2 remains stored in the formation for centuries. Since CO2 is less dense than water at the conditions in such formations, there is potential for the CO2 to leak through confining layers (cap-rock) back to the atmosphere.

This project deals with the modelling of the plugging of damaged or fractured cap-rock in injection well vicinity in a CO2 storage reservoir and the protection of well cement against corrosion using biofilms. This involves the development of a concept to model biomass accumulation in a porous medium on the Darcy scale and should account for bacterial growth, deposition of bacteria on the porous medium, detachment of attached biomass, decay and the effects of biofilm growth on the hydraulic properties of the porous medium. Such a model could have other applications such as in the plant nutrient transport in soils.

Project manager

Class, Holger
Helmig, Rainer

Research assistant

Ebigbo, Anozie




01/2007 - 05/2011


International Research Training Group NUPUS / German Research Foundation

Cooperation partners

Prof. Dr. Hans Bruining, TU Delft
Prof. Al Cunningham, Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University


This image shows Lehrstuhl für Hydromechanik und Hydrosystem-modellierung

Lehrstuhl für Hydromechanik und Hydrosystem-modellierung



Pfaffenwaldring 61, 70569 Stuttgart

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