Geothermal heat production and synergetic carbon storage supported by salinisation early warning - the results of the brine project

Thomas Kempka1, Rainer Herd2, Ernst Huenges1, Christoph Jahnke2, Silvio Janetz2, Egbert Jolie1, Michael Kühn1, Fabien Magri1, Markus Möller1, Gerard Munoz1, Oliver Ritter1, Wladislaw Schafrik2, Cornelia Schmidt-Hattenberger1, Elena Tillner1, Hans-Jürgen Voigt2, Günter Zimmermann1
1 GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
2 Brandenburg University of Technology

O 11.3 in Wärme-, Energie- und Kohlenstoffspeicherung im Untergrund

29.05.2014, 14:40-15:00, H18, NW II

World-wide research projects addressing geological CO2 storage and geothermal heat provision highlighted two questions of uttermost importance for the feasibility of CO2 storage in saline aquifers which were not addressed by scientific research so far:

  1.  Endangerment of freshwater reservoirs by upward migration of brine from saline aquifers as a result of the pressure increase subsequent to a CO2 injection into a target storage formation.
  2. Synergetic utilization of geothermal heat production and CO2 storage by implementation of pressure discharge wells.

Within the scope of the brine joint-project both questions were addressed in two main research topics. The first one comprised a feasibility study considering the detection of potential upward brine migration. Thereto, an integrated early warning system was developed involving a network of electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) as well as magnetotelluric (MT) and electromagnetic (EM) monitoring techniques. The objective was to detect upward brine migration as early as possible to employ appropriate. Different scenarios of brine migration effected by CO2 injection were simulated using coupled numerical models, whereas brine migration into freshwater-bearing reservoirs considered for drinking water supply was specifically taken into account. Furthermore, coupled hydro-geomechanical simulations allowed us to determine the role of existing faults by means of representing potential leakage pathways (Magri et al., 2013; Röhmann et al., 2013; Tillner et al., 2013a).

For validation of the integrated early warning concept, spatial and time-dependent distributions of the displaced brine determined during the computation of different migration scenarios were transformed into raw data and integrated into our ERT, MT and EM monitoring network model. These data were then applied for identification of network geometries required for successful monitoring of brine migration.

The second question was addressed by a theoretical study within the scope of the  brine project taking into account if brine from pressure discharge wells, which are implemented to increase the overall CO2 storage capacity of the target formation, can be used in geothermal heat provision. Here, an enhanced management of the storage reservoir was investigated considering re-injection of the thermal water into deeper saline aquifers (Tillner et al., 2013b).

Our results demonstrate that a synergetic application of CO2 storage and geothermal heat production is generally feasible. Furthermore, a conceptual early warning system for detection of freshwater salinisation was developed, calibrated by laboratory and field tests (e.g. Wagner et al., 2013), and validated by numerical modelling studies.

MAGRI, F.; TILLNER, E.; WANG, W.; WATANABE, N.; ZIMMERMANN, G.; KEMPKA, T. (2013): 3D Hydro-mechanical Scenario Analysis to Evaluate Changes of the Recent Stress Field as a Result of Geological CO2 Storage. Energy Procedia, 40, 375-383.

RÖHMANN, L.; TILLNER, E.; MAGRI, F.; KÜHN, M.; KEMPKA, T. (2013): Fault Reactivation and Ground Surface Uplift Assessment at a Prospective German CO2 Storage Site. Energy Procedia, 40, 437-446.

TILLNER, E.; KEMPKA, T.; NAKATEN, B.; KÜHN, M. (2013a, online first): Brine migration through fault zones: 3D numerical simulations for a prospective CO2 storage site in Northeast Germany. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control.

TILLNER, E.; KEMPKA, T.; NAKATEN, B.; KÜHN, M. (2013b): Geological CO2 Storage Supports Geothermal Energy Exploitation: 3D Numerical Models Emphasize Feasibility of Synergetic Use. Energy Procedia, 37, 6604-6616.

WAGNER, F.; MÖLLER, M.; SCHMIDT-HATTENBERGER, C.; KEMPKA, T.; MAURER, H. (2013): Monitoring freshwater salinization in analog transport models by time-lapse electrical resistivity tomography. Journal of Applied Geophysics, 89, 84-95.

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Letzte Änderung 23.10.2013