Projects

Current Projects


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CO2 Plume Geothermal systems involve injection of CO2 that comes from a CO2 emitter, as a working fluid to extract heat and pressure energy (enthalpy) from naturally high-permeability sedimentary or stratigraphic basins.
“CO2
Prof. Dr. Martin Saar, ETH Zurich
Dr. Benjamin M. Adams, University of Minnesota
Dr. Nagasree Garapati

Basically, the installation of a new system starts directly at the water meter in order to take advantage of the highest gallons per minute (GPM). If you choose the “separate meter option” (where applicable), this “high volume” water source will be plumbed in automatically.
geophysics
Prof. Dr. Martin Saar, ETH Zurich
Dr. Benjamin M Adams, University of Minnesota
Dr. Nagasree Garapati

Reaktoro is a unified framework for modeling chemically reactive systems. It provides methods for chemical equilibrium and kinetic calculations for multiphase systems. Reaktoro is mainly developed in C++ for performance reasons. A Python interface is available for a more convenient and simpler use of the scientific library. Currently Reaktoro can interface with two widely used geochemical software: PHREEQC and GEMS.
“reaktoro framework
Dr. Allan Leal, ETH Zurich
Prof. Dr. Martin Saar, ETH Zurich

The North of Switzerland is an area of interest for geothermal studies since it hosts a prominent heat flow anomaly with an enhanced near-surface heat flux when compared to the Swiss average.
geophysics
Prof. Dr. Martin Saar, ETH Zurich
Dr. Friedemann Samrock, ETH Zurich

Renewable, geothermal energy production from deep reservoirs relies on drilling boreholes of multiple kilometers in length. Drilling deep wells in abrasive and hard rock environments can result in increased wear for conventional rotary drilling methods.
geophysics
Prof. Dr. Martin Saar, ETH Zurich
Daniel Vogler, ETH Zurich

In-situ hydraulic stimulation has been performed on the decameter scale in the Deep Underground rock Laboratory (DUG Lab) at the Grimsel Test Site (GTS), Switzerland..
geophysics
Prof. Dr. Martin Saar, ETH Zurich
Daniel Vogler, ETH Zurich

As part of the SCCER-SoE strategy (Evans et al. 2014), the Deep Underground Geothermal Laboratory (DUG-Lab) at Grimsel in the Swiss Alps hosts experiments to demonstrate permeability enhancement and to characterize the created reservoir as a result of enhanced geothermal system (EGS) development.
geophysics
Prof. Dr. Martin Saar, ETH Zurich
Anniina Kittilä, ETH Zurich

Multiphase flow properties of a porous medium give insight into how different fluids can flow in a given porous rock: relative permeability (i.e., effective permeability of one phase) reveals how each phase is displaced in the porous space when other phases are present while capillary pressure refers to the interfacial forces between the fluids and the rock that partly drive the fluids distribution within the pores.
geophysics
Prof. Dr. Martin Saar, ETH Zurich
Dr. Xiang-Zhao Kong, ETH Zurich
Jin Ma, ETH Zurich

Utilization of underground reservoirs for geothermal energy extraction, CO2 storage, groundwater utilization, or waste fluid injection requires an in-depth understanding of fluid, solute (e.g., dissolved CO2, minerals, or waste fluids), and energy (heat, pressure) transport through often fractured porous geologic formations. Such operations necessarily perturb the chemical, thermal and/or pressure equilibrium between native fluids and rock minerals, potentially causing mineral dissolution and/or precipitation reactions with often immense consequences for fluid, solute, and energy transport, injectivity, and/or withdrawal in/from such reservoirs.
hydrothermal
Prof. Dr. Martin Saar, ETH Zurich
Dr. Xiang-Zhao Kong, ETH Zurich
Mehrdad Ahkami, ETH Zurich

Scientific knowledge is based on quantitative observations of physical, chemical, etc. processes, often observed in laboratory experiments that test scientific theories.
geophysics
Prof. Dr. Martin Saar, ETH Zurich
Dr. Xiang-Zhao Kong, ETH Zurich

With our cutting-edge fluid and solute transport visualization and quantitative measurement system, that combines Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) with Laser-induced Fluorescence (LIF), we can simultaneously monitor the evolution of the 3D, multiphase fluid velocity field and associated solute transport, including quantification of 3D solute concentrations within a fractured porous medium.
geophysics
Dr. Xiang-Zhao Kong, ETH Zurich

Deep Geothermal Energy is expected to meet 7% of the national electricity supply in the Swiss Energy Strategy 2050. In Switzerland, Enhanced/Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS) are commonly considered the only option for deep geothermal electricity production. Previous studies (e.g., Randolph and Saar, 2011a; 2011b) have shown that using carbon dioxide (CO2) instead of water as the subsurface working fluid in EGS has many benefits.
geophysics
Dr. Xiang-Zhao Kong, ETH Zurich

The ability to computationally simulate multiphase-multicomponent fluid flow, coupled with geochemical reactions between fluid species and rock minerals, in porous and/or fractured subsurface systems is of major importance to a vast number of applications.
geophysics
Prof. Dr. Martin Saar, ETH Zurich
Philipp Schädle, ETH Zurich
Dr. Allan Leal, ETH Zurich

Tracer testing techniques are an essential tool in hydrogeology to characterize a shallow or deep layer of interest. Based on column transport experiments in porous media, DNA-labeled silica nanoparticles are evaluated for use as hydrogeologic tracers. And the so-called DNA nanotracer is applied for the first time in an unconsolidated aquifer.
geophysics
Prof. Dr. Martin Saar, ETH Zurich
Claudia Deuber, ETH Zurich
Aniina Kittilä, ETH Zurich