Experimental Studies: Molecular Interactions at Clay Interfaces

  • Lei Hong
  • Vyacheslav Romanov
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


Water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane have extensively been studied because of their significant impact on energy security and environmental sustainability. Interaction of water with clay minerals strongly depends on the exchangeable cations in the interlayer. Interlayer H2O forms a coordination shell around cation through temperature-dependent interaction between the cation and water oxygen—three distinct mechanisms have been identified. Various forms of CO2 and its interaction with geomaterials include supercritical fluid, gas dissolved into brine, and (bi-) carbonate species. Due to the heterogeneity of geological formations, the interactions between geomaterials and injected fluids (and gas-in-place) are very complex and may result in dramatic changes in the rock formations. Mineral precipitation and dissolution reactions under low-water conditions have not received much attention so far, although water-bearing CO2 can mediate important geochemical reactions; which is also true for water-saturated samples exposed to dry CO2. In swelling smectites, the term “nano-confinement” was introduced to characterize the initial trapping of CO2 molecules in the interlayer, with subsequent conversion to carbonates. The nano-confined CO2 is distinguished by the red-shift in asymmetric-stretch vibration, which depends on the hydration state as confirmed by exposure to elevated temperatures. The presence of CO2 and H2O has a considerable effect on CH4 sorption on clays. The idea of utilizing competitive sorption of CO2 and CH4 on shales in depleted reservoirs for enhanced gas recovery and concomitant carbon storage has been gaining momentum and for a good reason as discussed in this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U.S. Department of EnergyNETL–AECOMPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Department of EnergyNational Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)PittsburghUSA

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