Cemenet CO2 micrograph

Benchmark Well Cement / CO2 Publication Surpasses 200 Citations

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  • 1:10PM Mar 09, 2015
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According to Google Scholar, “Degradation of Well Cement by CO2 under Geologic Sequestration Conditions,” a research paper jointly authored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Carnegie Mellon University, and RJ Lee Group, has now been cited more than 200 times in scientific journals. The first paper in a series of three, this publication focuses on how the curing conditions influence Portland cement attack by carbonic acid in a geologic sequestration setting. Prior to these studies, there was significant concern that the chemical incompatibility between CO2 and wellbore cement would compromise CO2 storage in the deep subsurface. All three studies were published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology (2007, 2008, and 2009) as a collaborative effort. Principal investigator for this research was Dr. Brian Strazisar (formerly with the U.S. Department of Energy, now a cement and concrete expert with RJ Lee Group). Another co-author, Niels Thaulow, is a long-time consulting expert with RJ Lee Group.

The optical (left) and electron (right) micrographs show the extent of alteration of wellbore cement by CO2 saturated water. Between the degraded outer edge of the sample and the unaltered interior is a dense carbonated region that slows diffusion of reactive fluids.

Of major significance is that the studies confirm that damage to cement due to diffusion and reaction with CO2 is very limited in the subsurface with most experiments showing cement degradation to be less than a millimeter’s depth after a year. When research samples were compared to field samples that had been exposed for decades, results verified that the cement that was historically used in deep wellbores can be highly effective in preventing CO2 migration.

To read more about cement and concrete investigations, click here.

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