Sci. Tech. Energ. Transition
Volume 78, 2023
Characterization and Modeling of the Subsurface in the Context of Ecological Transition
|Number of page(s)||13|
|Published online||28 April 2023|
Investigation of salt precipitation dynamic in porous media by X-ray and Neutron dual-modality imaging
IFP Energies Nouvelles, 1 et 4 avenue de Bois Préau, 92852 Rueil-Malmaison, France
2 Equinor ASA, Arkitekt Ebbells veg 10, 7053 Ranheim, Norway
3 Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble INP, 46 Avenue Felix Viallet, 38031 Grenoble, France
4 Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL), 71 Avenue des Martyrs, 38000 Grenoble, France
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 22 March 2023
In this work, a new dual modality monitoring technique is presented to demonstrate its interest to investigate the salt precipitation dynamics induced by gas flow-through drying. It consists of imaging simultaneously a core flood using both Neutron and X-ray beams. A method to calibrate and process the two signals is presented. It takes advantage of the difference in attenuation between the two ionizing radiations to quantify the different phase saturations and compositions as well as the reduction of porosity caused by salt precipitation. A set of experiments has been conducted at the NeXT-Grenoble beamline of the Institute Laue-Langevin facilities (ILL, France). Experiments were conducted on a homogeneous rock sample of Bentheimer sandstone using dry nitrogen and a 100 g/L KBr brine. The two first experiments aimed to calibrate the dual modality for the different phases. The last two experiments have been conducted with a brine capillary contact maintained at the gas outlet. Experimental data have given new insights into the organization of the three phases (the brine, the gas, and the precipitated salt) when a salt bank is formed in the sample. These quantities computed using dual-modality imaging show great similarities with published work. The salt accumulation was used to estimate the flow rate of brine pumped through the capillary contact to compensate for the brine evaporation in the gas phase. Observations have shown that a reduction of the initial porosity in some sections of the sample by 12–14% was enough to trigger a gas draw-down characterized by the migration of the salt toward the gas inlet. In some conditions (low gas inlet pressure for example), the rise of the water could be fast enough to form a second salt bank higher in the sample. It has been observed that the formation of the second salt bank could spread the precipitated salt in a less damaging configuration for the gas flow, triggering a phase of gas build-up characterized by the withdrawal of the water. These phases of gas draw-down and build-up could alternate until the sample clogs.
Key words: Salt precipitation / Neutron monitoring / X-ray monitoring / Drying / Dual modality
© The Author(s), published by EDP Sciences, 2023
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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