Spring 2013 Clean Energy
by Zuleima Karpyn
Associate Professor, College of Earth & Mineral Sciences

Geo-sequestration of Carbon Dioxide in Saline Aquifers: Experiments on Capillary Trapping

Sequestration of CO2 in geological formations is considered a promising alternative to minimize CO2 emissions. In particular, deep saline aquifers are considered prime candidates for geo-sequestration due to their large potential storage capacity. However, little is known about aquifers structure, physical and chemical properties, when compared to other geological formations, such as exhausted oil/gas fields and unminable coal seams.  Current research shows that structural trapping, dissolution, mineral, and capillary forces contribute to CO2 immobilization. In this work, we perform laboratory experiments to quantify the contribution of capillary trapping to the storage of supercritical CO2 in deep saline aquifers.



Zuleima Karpyn is Associate Professor and Quentin E. and Louise L. Wood Endowed Faculty Fellow in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering at Penn State. She holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Universidad Central de Venezuela, and M.S. and Ph.D. in petroleum and natural gas engineering from Penn State. She specializes on multiphase flow and transport in porous media and X-ray CT imaging of geomaterials. Dr. Karpyn is co-director of the Center for Quantitative Imaging and associate editor for the SPE Journal. She is the recipient of the 2008 NSF CAREER Award, and the 2010 Wilson Award for Excellence in Teaching.