Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin


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Graduate Seminar Speaker, Dr. Dorthe Wildenschild


Monday, November 10, 2014


03:00pm - 04:00pm


CPE 2.204


Dr. Dorthe Wildenschild, Professor at Oregon State University and the 2014 Darcy lecturer for National Ground Water Association, will give a talk entitled "Optimizing Capillary Trapping as a Carbon Dioxide Mitigation Strategy: Pore-Scale Findings in Support of Larger-Scale Implementation” as part of the Claude R. Hocott Graduate Seminar Series.


Discover how x-ray microtomography is being studied for possible use as a technique to optimize capillary trapping of carbon dioxide in this presentation. Capillary trapping is a mechanism supporting carbon capture and storage (CCS), which is being considered as a mitigation strategy for emissions from concentrated sources such as coal-fired power plants. CCS relies on geologic sequestration of captured carbon dioxide. Of concern in this process is the leakage of carbon dioxide back to the atmosphere, either acute or slower longterm escape, as well as related acidification of groundwater resources along the migration path. Initial work using x-ray microtomography has focused on proxy fluid-based systems and experiments carried out at ambient conditions. As the interfacial tension, viscosity, and carbon dioxide injection (as well as subsequent brine flood injection) rates are varied, trends have been observed with the type of porous medium (unconsolidated vs. consolidated), varying wetting and nonwetting phase viscosity, and flow rates. The latter in particular has been investigated for its effect on morphology and connectivity of the trapped nonwetting phase (i.e., the supercritical carbon dioxide). Results so far indicate that carbon dioxide injection can be manipulated to facilitate optimal trapping of residual carbon dioxide, both in terms of amount and with respect to size/ connectivity characteristics that may favorably support subsequent trapping reactions (e.g., dissolution and mineral formation).


Dorthe Wildenschild, Ph.D., is a professor in the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University and the 2014 Darcy lecturer for National Ground Water Association. Research in her group focuses on physics, chemistry, and microbiology of relevance to flow and transport in porous media. Much of her work is supported by high resolution imaging and applications primarily involve subsurface multiphase flow phenomena.