Numerical simulation of Carbon Dioxide Sequestration in porous media using multiphase/multicomponent thermal Lattice Boltzmann Model

Project: Monitored by Research Administration

Project Details

Grant Program

Faculty Development Competitive Research Grant Program 2021-2023

Project Description

This project is the continuation of a previous three years funded research activity focused on investigating CO2 storage and flow in and through deep underground porous media, within the framework of the major current issue on carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS). CO2 flow in porous media will be modeled using multiphase/multicomponent thermal lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM). The LBM is a class of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) method, capable of modeling a wide variety of complex fluid flow problems including single and multiphase flows in complex geometries. The LBM is a discrete computational method based upon the Boltzmann equation. It considers a fundamental volume of fluid to be composed of a collection of particles. Each set of particles contained in these volumes is represented by a particle velocity distribution function for each fluid component at each grid point. During the time-step advance of the simulation, the fluid particles can collide with each other as they move, possibly under applied forces. The rules governing the collisions, such as Bhatnagar-Gross-Krook (BGK) are designed such that the time-averaged motion of the particles is consistent with the Navier-Stokes equation (Chen and Doolen 1998).

LBM is a mesoscopic method which is able to capture microscopic effects and reproduce macroscopic behavior of fluids as a result (Huang et al., 2014). Macroscopic and microscopic methods have their own limitations when applied separately. The former one is usually insensitive to microscopic physics of fluids, while microscopic methods can be time consuming and computationally expensive when dealing with large domains. One of the advantages of mesoscopic methods is the ability to connect these microscopic and macroscopic descriptions of fluid dynamics at reasonable computational effort and physical precision. Another advantage of using LBM is that the method can easily be parallelized, so the computational time is dramatically reduced (Derksen, 2013).

LBM has been applied to study CO2 flow in underground porous medium structure (i.e. Mahmoudi et al., 2014; Huang et al., 2013; Yamabe et al., 2015; Fakhari et al., 2018; Bakhshian and Hosseini, 2019) with controversial results. When CO2 is injected into the reservoirs for sequestration, in most cases it is in supercritical phase (approximately, 74 bars and 31 °C), and thereafter, injected CO2 starts displacing resident fluid. This supercritical CO2 (scCO2) and the originally resident fluid in the porous medium together are treated as a two-phase system. Typically, density and kinematic viscosity of scCO2 are approximately 70% and 1/10-1/4 of respective properties of the resident fluid (Chen and Zhang, 2010).

Studies have been carried out to investigate the effects of heat transfer effects on fluid flows in porous media using LBM. Zhao et al. (2010) showed that porosity and obstacle configuration in porous media influences the onset of natural convection and showed that overall lower porosity enhances the heat transfer. Other studies (e.g. D’Orazio et al. (2004), Shu et al. (2002), Chen and Zhang (2010), Javadzadegan et al. (2019), Zhang et al. (2020)) examined the natural convection in a cavity by incorporating the porosity into the equilibrium distribution function and adding force term that accounts for linear and nonlinear drag forces of the medium. All these studies showed that convection enhances the CO2 intrusion into porous media.

This study will use thermal LBM to conduct simulation of thermal convective flow in porous media involving multiphase multicomponent (specifically CO2-brine system) system, using current state-of-the-art multiphase models to envision potential improvements in treating the interface such that the model can better accommodate the specific application. The software platform to be adopted is the DL_MESO, a C++ open-source code-package supporting LBM and Dissipative Particle Dynamics (DPD) methods, developed at Daresbury Laboratories, U.K. ( (NOTE: complete description in the proposal document)
StatusNot started


  • LBM


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