Geological storage of anthropogenic CO2 emissions in deep saline aquifers has recently received tremendous attention in the scientific literature. Injected CO2 plume buoyantly accumulates at the top part of the deep aquifer under a sealing cap rock, and some concern that the high-pressure CO2 could breach the seal rock. However, CO2 will diffuse into the brine underneath and generate a slightly denser fluid that may induce instability and convective mixing. Onset times of instability and convective mixing performance depend on the physical properties of the rock and fluids, such as permeability and density contrast. The novel idea is to adding nanoparticles to the injected CO2 to increase density contrast between the CO2-rich brine and the underlying resident brine and, consequently, decrease onset time of instability and increase convective mixing.
As far as it goes, only few works address the issues related to mathematical and numerical modeling aspects of the nanoparticles transport phenomena in CO2 storages. In the current work, we will present mathematical models to describe the nanoparticles transport carried by injected CO2 in porous media. Buoyancy and capillary forces as well as Brownian diffusion are important to be considered in the model. IMplicit Pressure Explicit Saturation-Concentration (IMPESC) scheme is used and a numerical simulator is developed to simulate the nanoparticles transport in CO2 storages.