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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The emerging role of 4D synchrotron X-ray micro-tomography for climate and fossil energy studies: five experiments showing the present capabilities at beamline 8.3.2 at the Advanced Light Source.

  • Author(s): Voltolini, Marco
  • Haboub, Abdelmoula
  • Dou, Shan
  • Kwon, Tae Hyuk
  • MacDowell, Alastair A
  • Parkinson, Dilworth Y
  • Ajo-Franklin, Jonathan
  • et al.

Continuous improvements at X-ray imaging beamlines at synchrotron light sources have made dynamic synchrotron X-ray micro-computed tomography (SXR-µCT) experiments more routinely available to users, with a rapid increase in demand given its tremendous potential in very diverse areas. In this work a survey of five different four-dimensional SXR-µCT experiments is presented, examining five different parameters linked to the evolution of the investigated system, and tackling problems in different areas in earth sciences. SXR-µCT is used to monitor the microstructural evolution of the investigated sample with the following variables: (i) high temperature, observing in situ oil shale pyrolysis; (ii) low temperature, replicating the generation of permafrost; (iii) high pressure, to study the invasion of supercritical CO2 in deep aquifers; (iv) uniaxial stress, to monitor the closure of a fracture filled with proppant, in shale; (v) reactive flow, to observe the evolution of the hydraulic properties in a porous rock subject to dissolution. For each of these examples, it is shown how dynamic SXR-µCT was able to provide new answers to questions related to climate and energy studies, highlighting the significant opportunities opened recently by the technique.

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