Modelling of Kinetic Interface Sensitive Tracers for Two-Phase Systems

  • Alexandru Tatomir
  • Friedrich Maier
  • Mario Schaffer
  • Tobias Licha
  • Martin Sauter
Part of the Springer Series in Geomechanics and Geoengineering book series (SSGG)


This article presents a mathematical model for interface sensitive tracer transport used for the evaluation of the interface between two fluid-phases (i.e. CO2 and brine) with general applicability in a series of engineering applications: oil recovery, vapour-dominated geothermal reservoirs, contaminant spreading, CO2 storage, etc. Increasing the CO2 storage efficiency in brine deep geological formations requires better injection strategies to be developed which could be accomplished with better tools for quantification of the fluid-fluid interfaces. The CO2 residual and solubility trapping are highly influenced by the interfaces separating the phases. An increase in the interface area is expected to produce an increase in the solubility trapping. However, standard multi-phase models do not account for the specific fluid-fluid interface area. A new class of reactive tracers is used for the characterization of interfacial areas between supercritical CO2 and brine. The tracer is injected in the CO2 and migrates to the interface where it undergoes a hydrolysis reaction in contact with water. A mathematical model is constructed based on volume-averaged properties (saturation, porosity, permeability, etc.) at the macroscale. The fluid phases are described with an extended form of the Darcy equation based on thermodynamic principles and complemented with relations for relative permeability and saturation and a specific equation for interfacial area. The kinetic mass transfer effects between the two phases are highly dependent on the interface area, and are captured with an approach introduced by [1]. The mathematical model is tested with a simple numerical example.


two phase flow in porous media kinetic interface sensitive tracers specific interfacial area 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Niessner, J., Hassanizadeh, S.M.: A model for two-phase flow in porous media including fluid-fluid interfacial area. Water Resour. Res. 44, 10 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    IPCC. IPCC special report on carbon dioxide capture and storage. In: Metz, B., Davidson, O., de Coninck, H.C., Loos, M., Meyer, L.A. (eds) Prepared by Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press (2005)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bachu, S.: Screening and ranking of sedimentary basins for sequestration of CO2 in geological media in response to climate change. Environmental Geology 44(3), 277–289 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Klara, S.M., Srivastava, R.D., McIlvried, H.G.: Integrated collaborative technology development program for CO2 sequestration in geologic formations–United States Department of Energy R&D. Energy Conversion and Management 44(17), 2699–2712 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Schaefer, C.E., DiCarlo, D.A., Blunt, M.J.: Experimental measurement of air-water interfacial area during gravity drainage and secondary imbibition in porous media. Water Resources Research 36(4), 885–890 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Schaffer, M., Maier, F., Licha, T., Sauter, M.: Development of Kinetic Interface Sensitive Tracers (KIS-Tracer) for Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Injections into Deep Saline Aquifers. In: EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts, vol. 14, p. 2048 (2012)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hassanizadeh, S.M., Gray, W.G.: Mechanics and thermodynamics of multiphase flow in porous media including interphase boundaries. Advances in Water Resources 13(4), 169–186 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ahrenholz, B., Niessner, J., Helmig, R., Krafczyk, M.: Pore-scale determination of parameters for macroscale modeling of evaporation processes in porous media. Water Resources Research 47(7) (2011)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Niessner, J., Hassanizadeh, S.: Modeling Kinetic Interphase Mass Transfer for Two-Phase Flow in Porous Media Including Fluid–Fluid Interfacial Area. Transport in Porous Media 80(2), 329–344 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Joekar-Niasar, V., Hassanizadeh, S., Leijnse, A.: Insights into the Relationships Among Capillary Pressure, Saturation, Interfacial Area and Relative Permeability Using Pore-Network Modeling. Transport in Porous Media 74(2), 201–219 (2008)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Helmig, R.: Multiphase Flow and Transport Processes in the Subsurface: A Contribution to the Modeling of Hydrosystems, 1st edn. Springer (1997)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Zhang, H., Schwartz, F.W.: Simulating the in situ oxidative treatment of chlorinated ethylenes by potassium permanganate. Water Resources Research 36(10), 3031–3042 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Flemisch, B., Darcis, M., Erbertseder, K., Faigle, B., Lauser, A., Mosthaf, K., Müthing, S., Nuske, P., Tatomir, A., Wolff, M., Helmig, R.: DuMux: DUNE for multi-{phase, component, scale, physics, ...} flow and transport in porous media. Advances in Water Resources (2011) (in press) (corrected proof)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Schaffer, M., Maier, F., Licha, T., Sauter, M.: A new generation of tracers for the characterization of interfacial areas during supercritical carbon dioxide injections into deep saline aquifers: kinetic interface sensitive tracers (KIS tracer). International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control (2012) (submitted)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Joekar-Niasar, V., Prodanović, M., Wildenschild, D., Hassanizadeh, S.M.: Network model investigation of interfacial area, capillary pressure and saturation relationships in granular porous media. Water Resources Research 46(W06526), 18 (2010), doi:10.1029/2009WR008585Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandru Tatomir
    • 1
  • Friedrich Maier
    • 1
  • Mario Schaffer
    • 1
  • Tobias Licha
    • 1
  • Martin Sauter
    • 1
  1. 1.Geoscience Centre, Dept. Applied GeologyUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany

Personalised recommendations