The Force of Crystallization and Fracture Propagation during In-Situ Carbonation of Peridotite

Reinier van Noort, Timotheus Wolterbeek, Martyn Drury, Michael Kandianis, Christopher Spiers
2017 Minerals  
Subsurface mineralization of CO 2 by injection into (hydro-)fractured peridotites has been proposed as a carbon sequestration method. It is envisaged that the expansion in solid volume associated with the mineralization reaction leads to a build-up of stress, resulting in the opening of further fractures. We performed CO 2 -mineralization experiments on simulated fractures in peridotite materials under confined, hydrothermal conditions, to directly measure the induced stresses. Only one of
more » ... s. Only one of these experiments resulted in the development of a stress, which was less than 5% of the theoretical maximum. We also performed one method control test in which we measured stress development during the hydration of MgO. Based on microstructural observations, as well as XRD and TGA measurements, we infer that, due to pore clogging and grain boundary healing at growing mineral interfaces, the transport of CO 2 , water and solutes into these sites inhibited reaction-related stress development. When grain boundary healing was impeded by the precipitation of silica, a small stress did develop. This implies that when applied to in-situ CO 2 -storage, the mineralization reaction will be limited by transport through clogged fractures, and proceed at a rate that is likely too slow for the process to accommodate the volumes of CO 2 expected for sequestration.
doi:10.3390/min7100190 fatcat:vap7pvpxxraebi4s6svwbvbsuq