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Research ESRIG - Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen Events

ESRIG-EES colloquium: Gerjan Wubs and Sergio Garmendia Lemus, MSc EES students

When:Tu 19-03-2019 16:00 - 17:00
Where:5159.00110, Energy Academy, Nijenborgh 6

Title: Technical potential for CO2 injection in the Zuidwal reservoir.

By: Gerjan Wubs, MSc EES student.

An accepted option for reducing GHG emissions is increasing the capacity and capture rate of carbon sinks. This includes the CO2 abatement option carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS). CCS consists of (1) capture of CO2 from large point sources, such as power plants, (2) capture and separating CO2 from air and (3) safe and permanent storage of CO2 away from the atmosphere. The latter was researched in this study. It was evaluated if it is technically feasible to store CO2 safe and secure in the Zuidwal reservoir.

The Zuidwal reservoir is a nearly empty gas field that is currently operated by Vermilion Energy. The reservoir consists of Vlieland sandstone and is overlain by Vlieland claystone. Moreover, it is located at a depth of 1,900 meters above the extinct Zuidwal volcano in the Wadden Sea, near the coast of Harlingen and Vlieland. CO2 injection the Zuidwal reservoir was simulated with a 3-D reactive chemical transport model that was developed with Petrel and Petrasim/TOUGHREACT software. This model gives a close representation of the Zuidwal geological reservoir and can simulate the horizontal and vertical flow of the CO2 plume and other liquids and gases and shows geochemical activity as a result of it.

In the simulations that were performed, annual CO2 emissions of a power plant (5 Mton) were injected for a period of 30 years. Several well combinations with different CO2 injection rates were used in the simulations. By using the well combination ZDW-A-02 and ZDW-A-08 with an injection rate of 67.5 kg CO2/s and ZDW-A-04 with an injection rate of 25 kg CO2/s, the most favorable distribution of reservoir pressure was achieved and the most amount of CO2 dissolution occurred in the reservoir brine. Regardless of the well combination, the pH of the reservoir seemed to evenly distribute throughout the reservoir at a pH value of 5.00 after 30 years of injection.

Due to a lack of data of the brine composition from the Zuidwal reservoir, a Permian Rotliegend brine from actual well test was used. Results of a sensitivity analysis showed that slight variations in ion concentrations in brine do not have major impact on mineral precipitation and dissolution.

Overall, it was concluded that it is technically feasible to store annual CO2 emissions of a power plant for 30 years safe and secure in the Zuidwal reservoir.

Title: Energy valorization, alternative pathways and limitations of biomass resources in Mexican Caribbean. Sargassum seaweed case.

By: Sergio Garmendia Lemus, MSc EES student.

Presumably, over the past decade, anthropogenic activities and natural changes in temperature or other environmental fluctuations have derived in unusual brown algae (Sargassum) blooms in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean countries. The urgency of this phenomenon, which has had a direct impact on economic activities, such as fisheries and tourism, lacks understanding of the impacts and economic loses, resulting in arguably reactive responses. The Mexican Caribbean has faced enormous problems as a part of this phenomenon. The remarkable urgency to find sustainable a solution stand on the economic importance and losses of the region due to Sargassum arrivals. This research project analyzes properties, availability, energy conversion opportunities and alternative pathways for Sargassum blooms in Quintana Roo, Mexico. The main core of the research focuses on the construction of a methodology based on a process evaluation.

This research takes insights into energy theory (EROI), sustainability indicators (LCA) and economic performance for a possible project deployment based on socio-political conditions in Quintana Roo. The results of this research ideally function as flexible advice for decision-makers and institutions to choose energy-related “win-win” alternatives based on local conditions for macroalgae blooms in Quintana Roo. This work served as an initial reference to find a solution to a highly complex and uncertain environmental phenomenon by energy valorization, but in the other, an opportunity for society to improve on their local wellbeing.