Degradation of Well Cement by CO2 under Geologic Sequestration Conditions

Publication Information:

Kutchko, B. G., B.R. Strazisar, D.A. Dzombak et al., “Degradation of Well Cement by CO2 under Geologic Sequestration Conditions,” Environmental Science & Technology 41(13), 4787-4792, 2007.

Year: 2007


Experiments were conducted to assess the durability of cements in wells penetrating candidate formations for geologic sequestration of CO2. These experiments showed a significant variation in the initial degradation (9 days of exposure) based on the curing conditions. The high-temperature (50 °C) and high-pressure (30.3 MPa) curing environment increased the degree of hydration and caused a change in the microstructure and distribution of the Ca(OH)2(s) phase within the cement. Cement cured at 50 °C and 30.3 MPa (representing sequestration conditions) proved to be more resistant to carbonic acid attack than cement cured at 22 °C and 0.1 MPa. The cement cured at 50 °C and 30.3 MPa exhibited a shallower depth of degradation and displayed a well-defined carbonated zone as compared to cement cured under ambient conditions. This is likely due to smaller, more evenly distributed Ca(OH)2(s) crystals that provide a uniform and effective barrier to CO2 attack.

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