Molecular Dynamics Study on CO2 Storage in Water-Filled Kerogen Nanopores in Shale Reservoirs: Effects of Kerogen Maturity and Pore Size

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  • CO2 sequestration in shale reservoirs is an economically viable option to alleviate carbon emission. Kerogen, a major component in the organic matter in shale, is associated with a large number of nanopores, which might be filled with water. However, the CO2 storage mechanism and capacity in water-filled kerogen nanopores are poorly understood. Therefore, in this work, we use molecular dynamics simulation to study the effects of kerogen maturity and pore size on CO2 storage mechanism and capacity in water-filled kerogen nanopores. Type II kerogen with different degrees of maturity (II-A, II-B, II-C, and II-D) is chosen, and three pore sizes (1, 2, and 4 nm) are designed. The results show that CO2 storage mechanisms are different in the 1 nm pore and the larger ones. In 1 nm kerogen pores, water is completely displaced by CO2 due to the strong interactions between kerogen and CO2 as well as among CO2. CO2 storage capacity in 1 nm pores can be up to 1.5 times its bulk phase in a given volume. On the other hand, in 2 and 4 nm pores, while CO2 is dissolved in the middle of the pore (away from the kerogen surface), in the vicinity of the kerogen surface, CO2 can form nano-sized clusters. These CO2 clusters would enhance the overall CO2 storage capacity in the nanopores, while the enhancement becomes less significant as pore size increases. Kerogen maturity has minor influences on CO2 storage capacity. Type II-A (immature) kerogen has the lowest storage capacity because of its high heteroatom surface density, which can form hydrogen bonds with water and reduce the available CO2 storage space. The other three kerogens are comparable in terms of CO2 storage capacity. This work should shed some light on CO2 storage evaluation in shale reservoirs.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International