Montana State University developed a biomineralization-based technology for sealing preferential flow pathways in the vicinity of injection wells. The engineered biomineralization process produces biofilm and mineral deposits that reduce the permeability of geologic media while modifying the geochemistry of brines to enhance CO2 solubility and mineral precipitation. This process can be targeted to the geologic media surrounding carbon storage injection wells to provide long-term sealing of preferential CO2 leakage pathways. The project had three main objectives: (1) construct and test a mesoscale high pressure rock test system (HPRTS); (2) develop biomineralization seal experimental protocol; and (3) create biomineralization seals in different rock types to simulate different potential field conditions.
This project focused on the study of biomineralization processes that will be effective at sealing flow or leakage pathways near wellbores in subsurface environments. Improved mitigation techniques contribute to improved storage techniques, thus reducing CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. Specifically, this project achieves its targets via an engineered biomineralization process which produces biofilm and mineral deposits that reduce the permeability of geologic media while modifying the geochemistry of brines to enhance CO2 solubility and mineral precipitation.
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