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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Wollastonite Carbonation in Water-Bearing Supercritical CO2: Effects of Particle Size


The performance of geologic CO2 sequestration (GCS) can be affected by CO2 mineralization and changes in the permeability of geologic formations resulting from interactions between water-bearing supercritical CO2 (scCO2) and silicates in reservoir rocks. However, without an understanding of the size effects, the findings in previous studies using nanometer- or micrometer-size particles cannot be applied to the bulk rock in field sites. In this study, we report the effects of particle sizes on the carbonation of wollastonite (CaSiO3) at 60 °C and 100 bar in water-bearing scCO2. After normalization by the surface area, the thickness of the reacted wollastonite layer on the surfaces was independent of particle sizes. After 20 h, the reaction was not controlled by the kinetics of surface reactions but by the diffusion of water-bearing scCO2 across the product layer on wollastonite surfaces. Among the products of reaction, amorphous silica, rather than calcite, covered the wollastonite surface and acted as a diffusion barrier to water-bearing scCO2. The product layer was not highly porous, with a specific surface area 10 times smaller than that of the altered amorphous silica formed at the wollastonite surface in aqueous solution. These findings can help us evaluate the impacts of mineral carbonation in water-bearing scCO2.

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