Small angle X-ray scattering mapping and kinetics study of sub-critical CO2 sorption by two Australian coals
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Time- and position-resolved synchrotron small angle X-ray scattering data were acquired from samples of two Australian coal seams: Bulli seam (Bulli 4, Ro=1.42%, Sydney Basin), which naturally contains CO2 and Baralaba seam (Ro=0.67%, Bowen Basin), a potential candidate for sequestering CO2. This experimental approach has provided unique, pore-size-specific insights into the kinetics of CO2 sorption in the micro- and small mesopores (diameter 5 to 175 ũ and the density of the sorbed CO2 at reservoir-like conditions of temperature and hydrostatic pressure. For both samples, at pressures above 5 bar, the density of CO2 confined in pores was found to be uniform, with no densification in near-wall regions. In the Bulli 4 sample, CO2 first flooded the slit pores between polyaromatic sheets. In the pore-size range analysed, the confined CO2 density was close to that of the free CO2. The kinetics data are too noisy for reliable quantitative analysis, but qualitatively indicate faster kinetics in mineral-matter-rich regions. In the Baralaba sample, CO2 preferentially invaded the smallest micropores and the confined CO2 density was up to five times that of the free CO2. Faster CO2 sorption kinetics was found to be correlated with higher mineral matter content but, the mineral-matter-rich regions had lower-density CO2 confined in their pores. Remarkably, the kinetics was pore-size dependent, being faster for smaller pores. These results suggest that injection into the permeable section of an interbedded coal-clastic sequence could provide a viable combination of reasonable injectivity and high sorption capacity.
International Journal of Coal Geology