Benchmark Well Cement / CO2 Publication Surpasses 200 Citations


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. This first paper in a series of three, 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.

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.

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.[/caption]

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.


Brian R. Strazisar, Ph.D.

About Brian R. Strazisar, Ph.D.

Dr. Brian Strazisar joined RJ Lee Group’s expert team in 2014 and has applied his considerable expertise and experience in cement chemistry to the fields of concrete and construction materials. He has made significant contributions to projects related to concrete service lifetime estimation, forensic failure analysis of concrete, soil stabilization, and concrete/mortar characterization. He was recently retained as an expert on wellbore integrity and environmental impacts of shale gas development. 
 
Prior to RJ Lee Group, Dr. Strazisar worked for 14 years with the U.S. Department of Energy at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) solving a wide range of scientific problems related to minimizing environmental and climate impacts of fossil energy production. He is well-recognized as an expert and leader in the fields of wellbore integrity and cement chemistry. His benchmark work, which identified the process by which hydrated cement reacts with carbonated water in the deep subsurface, has been cited over 200 times in technical journals and has been used by the EPA to help shape regulations for CO2 storage wells. His research was the first to reveal self-healing of cement fractures under CO2 storage conditions.  
 
Previously, Dr. Strazisar was the technical lead on a large and diverse portfolio of research projects on the geologic storage of CO2 for greenhouse gas mitigation. He received an R&D 100 Award for his part in developing a method for monitoring CO2 leakage to the near-surface. He has a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Cornell University, and his dissertation work was featured on the cover of Science Magazine, the world’s highest impact scientific journal. Dr. Strazisar is a charter member of the National Academies’ Science Ambassadors program and a firm advocate for decision-making based on sound science.

Contact Brian Strazisar