Methods & Labs Computer Simulation Description

Simulations at the pore, lab, and field scales constitute part of our research work. Typically, they involve subsurface multiphase fluid flow, heat transfer, reactive transport, and geomechanics, with applications in such fields as geothermal energy, subsurface carbon dioxide storage, groundwater, oil/gas. Pore-scale simulations improve our understanding of fundamental processes. Lab-scale simulations accompany our laboratory experiments. Simulations at the field scale help address concrete application-based questions.

We use various well-known simulators, including TOUGH2, TOUGHREACT, PetraSim, PFLORTRAN, DuMux, and GEOS. For very computationally intensive simulations, we have access to ETH’s Euler and the University of Minnesota’s high-performance computing systems.

The group is also working on the development of new codes. Reaktoro, our in-house geochemistry model, developed by Dr. Allan Leal, provides methods for chemical equilibrium and kinetic calculations for multiphase systems.

(PFLOTRAN) Evolution of temperature as a result of injecting cold CO2 into a warm reservoir for 10 years and allowing the reservoir to recover for an additional 40 years. Source: Tutolo et al. (2015), Int. J. Greenh. Gas Control 39, 285-301
(PetraSim) Pressure build up [Pa] due to CO2 injection.
(LBHydra): A dissolving CO2 bubble passing through a pore throat. Grains are shown in gray. Color map shows CO2 concentration in water.
(Reaktoro) Reactive transport simulaiton of calcite dissolution due to the injection of CO2-saturated brine into a rock core.