CT Scanner Laboratory
Computed Tomography (CT) scanning allows researchers to observe the inner
structures of geological core samples. Used in conjunction with NETL's Core
Flow Laboratory and computational research capabilities, the CT Scanner Laboratory
enables researchers to evaluate what happens to materials as a result of carbon
storage (sequestration). Carbon sequestration is a promising technique for
reducing greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2 ) emissions,
by injecting captured CO2 into geologic formations. This technique
also has been shown effective in enhancing oil recovery and displacing coal
The CT Scanner Laboratory provides imaging data that can be used for computer
simulations, economic evaluations, and site characterizations. The scanner
generates a three-dimensional (3-D) image of an object's structure by collecting
and combining many 2-D X-ray images. Coal, rock, and other geological samples
are imaged to measure how liquids, gases, and solids flow through them, or
to measure other rock-fluid phenomena, such as how CO2 is adsorbed
or absorbed in coal cores. The measurements provide information on the actual
distribution of minerals and fluids inside samples, rather than providing merely
When used in conjunction with other techniques, the non-invasive CT imaging
process yields fundamental information on flow and geological properties that
may provide insight into the technical and economic feasibility of CO2 sequestration.
For example, geologic sequestration site evaluation logs are used to develop
interactive, 3-D displays from the geological and engineering data. NETL's
software resources, FLUENT and EarthVision, are used along with visualization
hardware to provide static (e.g ., a conventional geologic model)
or time-dependent ( e.g ., interactive flow and geomechanical simulation)
data. These displays allow researchers to simultaneously view, interpret, and
develop future plans for geologic sequestration processes and related coal
and oil programs.
NETL is collaborating with Carnegie Mellon University and West Virginia University
engineering and physics departments to evaluate specific mineral cores – deep
coal seams and brine-saturated sandstone formations – at realistic pressures
while simultaneously observing changes in pore fluids, mineral densities, and
effective molecular weights. CT Scanner Laboratory researchers also collaborate
with colleagues from other CT laboratories, including those of Pennsylvania State
University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. NETL's CT scanner is potentially
available for additional projects.
- Manufacturer: Universal Systems, Inc.
- Model: HD350 E, refurbished and upgraded medical unit
- Up to 140 kV and 400 mA tube power with up to 4s scan time/slice
- Small voxel size: 250 micron spatial resolution, 25 micron detection limit,
1mm slice thickness
- Large core scanning capability
- Dual energy scanning capability for determination of atomic numbers
For more information contact: T.
Robert McLendon or Duane H.