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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, M
  • Haboub, A
  • Dou, S
  • Kwon, TH
  • Macdowell, AA
  • Parkinson, DY
  • Ajo-Franklin, J
  • et al.

© International Union of Crystallography, 2017. 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 CO2in 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.Recent developments in in situ synchrotron X-ray micro-computed tomography allow novel time-resolved experiments. Five different dynamic micro-computed tomography experiments addressing carbon sequestration, permafrost evolution and unconventional oil recovery topics are presented.

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