Mineral dissolution and precipitation

Mission: develop the fundamental understanding of mineral dissolution and precipitation under fluid flow conditions.

Micro and millifluidics for mineral dissolution and precipitation

Mineral dissolution and precipitation reactions underpin a wide range of important natural and engineered processes, including the evolution of karst aquifers or carbon sequestration by carbon mineralization. Predicting and engineering these reactions is challenging due to their occurrence at the microscale, where complex pore-scale flows and geochemical reactions are coupled. To visualize these microscale reactions, we use microfluidic and millifluidic experimental systems. The experimental systems enable us to perform careful variations of the parameters of flow and reaction. Our goal is to develop fundamental understanding of mineral reactions under flow conditions that can be applied to predicting mineral reactions at a larger scale.

Core flooding experiments with etched rocks

Core flooding experiments using etched rock cores are carried out to study dissolution and precipitation. Using etched rock cores, we can establish a mechanistic understanding of fracture geometry effects on dissolution and precipitation under fluid flow conditions. 

Pore-scale numerical simulation of dissolution and precipitation

Water-rock reactions, such as mineral dissolution and precipitation, control various subsurface processes and shape the subsurface environment. However, the complex pore-scale processes make it difficult to understand mineral dissolution and precipitation under flow conditions. By developing and utilizing pore-scale flow and reactive transport models that account for mineral dissolution and precipitation, we attempt to advance our knowledge of water-rock reactions, which will lead to better-upscaled models. 

Network-scale modeling of dissolution and precipitation

The phenomena of dissolution and precipitation at the microscopic pore level play a pivotal role in governing the macroscopic flow and transport in pore and fracture networks. Through the implementation of network-scale modeling, we aim to shed light on the intricate ways in which dissolution and precipitation processes dynamically shape the conductivity of these networks, subsequently influencing transport phenomena. A primary objective is to identify key parameters that affect dissolution and precipitation regimes at the network level.

Selected publications