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Pure and Applied Chemistry

The Scientific Journal of IUPAC

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Volume 89, Issue 5


Numerical simulations of CO2 sequestration in basaltic rock formations: challenges for optimizing mineral-fluid reactions

Alexander P. Gysi
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  • Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 1516 Illinois Street, 80401 Golden, CO, USA, Tel.: +1 303 2733828
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Published Online: 2017-04-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/pac-2016-1016


Numerical simulations were carried out for determining the chemical reactions relevant for the sequestration of CO2 in basaltic rock formations. The mineralogy of natural geological systems consists of silicate minerals such as the phyllosilicates and zeolites that form complex solid solutions. Using the GEMS code package based on Gibbs energy minimization, combined with the new MINES database, we can now simulate the solubility of these multicomponent and multisite mineral solid solutions in basaltic rocks. This study explores the varying effects of CO2 partial pressures, basaltic glass dissolution kinetics and reaction time on the complex chemistry of the overall CO2-water-basalt reaction path. The simulations indicate four reaction progress stages with the competing reactions between smectites (di- and trioctahedral) and Ca-Fe-Mg-carbonates controlling the amount of CO2 mineralized. A better understanding of these key mineral-fluid reactions and improvement of their thermodynamic models is critical for making more acurate predictive calculations. This comprises the basis for extending the simulations to reactive transport models, and for the assessment of the feasibility of long-term CO2 storage in basaltic rock formations.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: chemical thermodynamics; geochemistry; ISSP-17; modeling; multicomponent reactions; solubility; solution equilibria

Article note:

A collection of invited papers based on presentations at the International Symposium on Solubility Phenomena and Related Equilibrium Processes (ISSP-17), Geneva, 24–29 July 2016.


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About the article

Published Online: 2017-04-19

Published in Print: 2017-05-01

Citation Information: Pure and Applied Chemistry, Volume 89, Issue 5, Pages 581–596, ISSN (Online) 1365-3075, ISSN (Print) 0033-4545, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/pac-2016-1016.

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