Solute mixing regulates heterogeneity of mineral precipitation in porous media

Mehmet B. Cil, Minwei Xie, Aaron Packman, Giuseppe Buscarnera*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Synchrotron X-ray microtomography was used to track the spatiotemporal evolution of mineral precipitation and the consequent alteration of the pore structure. Column experiments were conducted by injecting CaCl2 and NaHCO3 solutions into granular porous media either as a premixed supersaturated solution (external mixing) or as separate solutions that mixed within the specimen (internal mixing). The two mixing modes produced distinct mineral growth patterns. While internal mixing promoted transverse heterogeneity with precipitation at the mixing zone, external mixing favored relatively homogeneous precipitation along the flow direction. The impact of precipitation on pore water flow and permeability was assessed via 3-D flow simulations, which indicated anisotropic permeability evolution for both mixing modes. Under both mixing modes, precipitation decreased the median pore size and increased the skewness of the pore size distribution. Such similar pore-scale evolution patterns suggest that the clogging of individual pores depends primarily on local supersaturation state and pore geometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6658-6666
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume44
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 16 2017

Fingerprint

porous medium
solute
solutes
minerals
porosity
mineral
permeability
plugging
skewness
water flow
supersaturation
porewater
synchrotrons
geometry
simulation
x rays
experiment

Keywords

  • X-ray microtomography
  • mineral precipitation
  • reactive transport
  • solute mixing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

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title = "Solute mixing regulates heterogeneity of mineral precipitation in porous media",
abstract = "Synchrotron X-ray microtomography was used to track the spatiotemporal evolution of mineral precipitation and the consequent alteration of the pore structure. Column experiments were conducted by injecting CaCl2 and NaHCO3 solutions into granular porous media either as a premixed supersaturated solution (external mixing) or as separate solutions that mixed within the specimen (internal mixing). The two mixing modes produced distinct mineral growth patterns. While internal mixing promoted transverse heterogeneity with precipitation at the mixing zone, external mixing favored relatively homogeneous precipitation along the flow direction. The impact of precipitation on pore water flow and permeability was assessed via 3-D flow simulations, which indicated anisotropic permeability evolution for both mixing modes. Under both mixing modes, precipitation decreased the median pore size and increased the skewness of the pore size distribution. Such similar pore-scale evolution patterns suggest that the clogging of individual pores depends primarily on local supersaturation state and pore geometry.",
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Solute mixing regulates heterogeneity of mineral precipitation in porous media. / Cil, Mehmet B.; Xie, Minwei; Packman, Aaron; Buscarnera, Giuseppe.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 44, No. 13, 16.07.2017, p. 6658-6666.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Solute mixing regulates heterogeneity of mineral precipitation in porous media

AU - Cil, Mehmet B.

AU - Xie, Minwei

AU - Packman, Aaron

AU - Buscarnera, Giuseppe

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Y1 - 2017/7/16

N2 - Synchrotron X-ray microtomography was used to track the spatiotemporal evolution of mineral precipitation and the consequent alteration of the pore structure. Column experiments were conducted by injecting CaCl2 and NaHCO3 solutions into granular porous media either as a premixed supersaturated solution (external mixing) or as separate solutions that mixed within the specimen (internal mixing). The two mixing modes produced distinct mineral growth patterns. While internal mixing promoted transverse heterogeneity with precipitation at the mixing zone, external mixing favored relatively homogeneous precipitation along the flow direction. The impact of precipitation on pore water flow and permeability was assessed via 3-D flow simulations, which indicated anisotropic permeability evolution for both mixing modes. Under both mixing modes, precipitation decreased the median pore size and increased the skewness of the pore size distribution. Such similar pore-scale evolution patterns suggest that the clogging of individual pores depends primarily on local supersaturation state and pore geometry.

AB - Synchrotron X-ray microtomography was used to track the spatiotemporal evolution of mineral precipitation and the consequent alteration of the pore structure. Column experiments were conducted by injecting CaCl2 and NaHCO3 solutions into granular porous media either as a premixed supersaturated solution (external mixing) or as separate solutions that mixed within the specimen (internal mixing). The two mixing modes produced distinct mineral growth patterns. While internal mixing promoted transverse heterogeneity with precipitation at the mixing zone, external mixing favored relatively homogeneous precipitation along the flow direction. The impact of precipitation on pore water flow and permeability was assessed via 3-D flow simulations, which indicated anisotropic permeability evolution for both mixing modes. Under both mixing modes, precipitation decreased the median pore size and increased the skewness of the pore size distribution. Such similar pore-scale evolution patterns suggest that the clogging of individual pores depends primarily on local supersaturation state and pore geometry.

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