Rate of CO2 Attack on Hydrated Class H Well Cement under Geologic Sequestration Conditions

Publication Information:

Kutchko, B. G., B.R. Strazisar, G. V. Lowry et al., “Rate of CO2 Attack on Hydrated Class H Well Cement under Geologic Sequestration Conditions,” Environmental Science & Technology 42(16), 6237-6242, 2008.

Year: 2008


Experiments were conducted to study the degradation of hardened cement paste due to exposure to CO2 and brine under geologic sequestration conditions (T = 50 °C and 30.3 MPa). The goal was to determine the rate of reaction of hydrated cement exposed to supercritical CO2and to CO2-saturated brine to assess the potential impact of degradation in existing wells on CO2 storage integrity. Two different forms of chemical alteration were observed. The supercritical CO2 alteration of cement was similar in process to cement in contact with atmospheric CO2 (ordinary carbonation), while alteration of cement exposed to CO2-saturated brine was typical of acid attack on cement. Extrapolation of the hydrated cement alteration rate measured for 1 year indicates a penetration depth range of 1.00 ± 0.07 mm for the CO2-saturated brine and 1.68 ± 0.24 mm for the supercritical CO2 after 30 years. These penetration depths are consistent with observations of field samples from an enhanced oil recovery site after 30 years of exposure to CO2-saturated brine under similar temperature and pressure conditions. These results suggest that significant degradation due to matrix diffusion of CO2 in intact Class H neat hydrated cement is unlikely on time scales of decades.

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