Multidimensional reactive transport modeling of CO2 mineral sequestration in basalts at the Hellisheidi geothermal field, Iceland

E. S.P. Aradóttir*, E. L. Sonnenthal, G. Björnsson, H. Jónsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


Two and three-dimensional field scale reservoir models of CO2 mineral sequestration in basalts were developed and calibrated against a large set of field data. Resulting principal hydrological properties are lateral and vertical intrinsic permeabilities of 300 and 1700×10-15m2, respectively, effective matrix porosity of 8.5% and a 25m/year estimate for regional groundwater flow velocity.Reactive chemistry was coupled to calibrated models and predictive mass transport and reactive transport simulations carried out for both a 1200-tonnes pilot CO2 injection and a full-scale 400,000-tonnes CO2 injection scenario. Reactive transport simulations of the pilot injection predict 100% CO2 mineral capture within 10years and cumulative fixation per unit surface area of 5000tonnes/km2. Corresponding values for the full-scale scenario are 80% CO2 mineral capture after 100years and cumulative fixation of 35,000tonnes/km2. CO2 sequestration rate is predicted to range between 1200 and 22,000tonnes/year in both scenarios.The predictive value of mass transport simulations was found to be considerably lower than that of reactive transport simulations. Results from three-dimensional simulations were also in significantly better agreement with field observations than equivalent two-dimensional results.Despite only being indicative, it is concluded from this study that fresh basalts may comprise ideal geological CO2 storage formations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-40
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by Reykjavík Energy, Geothermal Research Group GEORG ( 09-01-003 and 09-02-001 ) and the University fund of Eimskipafélag Íslands .

Other keywords

  • CO mineral sequestration
  • CO-water-basalt interaction
  • Geologic CO storage
  • Inverse parameter calibration
  • Reactive transport modeling


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