Activated desorption at heterogeneous interfaces and long-time kinetics of hydrocarbon recovery from nanoporous media
Author(s)Lee, Thomas; Bocquet, Lyderic Benjamin; Coasne, Benoit Alain
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Hydrocarbon recovery from unconventional reservoirs (shale gas) is debated due to its environmental impact and uncertainties on its predictability. But a lack of scientific knowledge impedes the proposal of reliable alternatives. The requirement of hydrofracking, fast recovery decay and ultra-low permeability—inherent to their nanoporosity—are specificities of these reservoirs, which challenge existing frameworks. Here we use molecular simulation and statistical models to show that recovery is hampered by interfacial effects at the wet kerogen surface. Recovery is shown to be thermally activated with an energy barrier modelled from the interface wetting properties. We build a statistical model of the recovery kinetics with a two-regime decline that is consistent with published data: a short time decay, consistent with Darcy description, followed by a fast algebraic decay resulting from increasingly unreachable energy barriers. Replacing water by CO₂ or propane eliminates the barriers, therefore raising hopes for clean/efficient recovery.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Nature Publishing Group
Lee, Thomas; Bocquet, Lydéric and Coasne, Benoit. “Activated Desorption at Heterogeneous Interfaces and Long-Time Kinetics of Hydrocarbon Recovery from Nanoporous Media.” Nature Communications 7 (June 2016): 11890. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature
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