Practical approaches to study microbially induced calcite precipitation at the field scale
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control. 2021, 106, 103256 10.1016/j.ijggc.2021.103256
Microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP) is a new and sustainable technology which utilizes biochemical processes to create barriers by calcium carbonate cementation; therefore, this technology has a potential to be used for sealing leakage zones in geological formations. The complexity of current MICP models and present computer power limit the size of numerical simulations. We describe a mathematical model for MICP suitable for field-scale studies. The main mechanisms in the conceptual model are as follow: suspended microbes attach themselves to the pore walls to form biofilm, growth solution is added to stimulate the biofilm development, the biofilm uses cementation solution for production of calcite, and the calcite reduces the pore space which in turn decreases the rock permeability. We apply the model to study the MICP technology in two sets of reservoir properties including a well-established field-scale benchmark system for CO2 leakage. A two-phase flow model for CO2 and water is used to assess the leakage prior to and with MICP treatment. Based on the numerical results, this study confirms the potential for this technology to seal leakage paths in reservoir-caprock systems.