Thermodynamic Computations for Ion Exchange and Surface Protonation Reactions and the Implications for Acid Induced Contact Angle Evolution in Silica Rich Saline Aquifer Systems

Mumuni Amadu, Adango Miadonye


To reduce current high concentrations of anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to levels stipulated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, geological sequestration has been universally proposed. On the basis of cost analysis and global availability, deep saline aquifers are the prime targets for most proposed commercial and pilot scale projects.

While the geological storage of anthropogenic carbon dioxide is expected to mitigate global warming, the technical aspects of the injection deserve to be considered for efficient injection projects. The water rock interaction phenomenon occurs due to carbonic acid generation which causes surface protonation reactions and has the potential to decrease water wettability of the system leading to enhanced water mobility and efficient gas injection. Therefore, for a saline aquifer rock with minerals capable of ion exchange reactions that consume solution protons, the wettability of such a system is likely to be preserved leading to reduced water mobility and poor gas injection. Generally, the extents to which surface protonation and ion exchange reactions occur depend on the free energy change of the reaction.

In this paper, we have carried out thermodynamic computations for the free energies of surface protonation and ion exchange reactions. Based on the values of computed free energies, which show that ion exchange reactions have lower free energies, we have discussed the wettability implications for geological storage in silica rich saline aquifer systems.

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International Journal of Chemistry   ISSN 1916-9698 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9701 (Online)

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