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CO2 Dynamics - Fundamental aspects of transport and injection of CO2 with impurities

In the two-degree scenario (2DS) of the International Energy Agency (IEA), in 2050, CO2 capture and storage (CCS) will contribute to reducing the global CO2 emissions by about 7 billion tonnes per year. In order to achieve this, it will be necessary to construct large pipeline networks between the CO2 sources and the CO2 sinks.

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When design of such pipeline networks for CO2, engineers need to be able to perform calculations regarding safety and operation. For instance, a possible leak of CO2 will cause a strong cooling of the pipe, which may cause the pipe material to become brittle and to crack. It is desirable to avoid this.

To perform such calculations, one needs models for multiphase flow (that is, the flow of gases and liquids), and these models need to describe not only the transport, but also pressure waves, for the pressure contributes to determine the temperature. Such models are not an off-the-shelf commodity today.

One important aspect of depressurizations of CO2 pipelines is the wave-propagation speed, or the speed of sound. To calculate it, one needs both a flow model and a thermodynamic model. Work in this project has shown that the speed of sound is dependent on, among other things, the assumptions made about phase equilibrium, that is, whether or not evaporation and condensation happen instantaneously.

The project has developed a numerical model for the calculation of single and multiphase flow of CO2 and CO2-rich mixtures in pipes. The model has been employed to calculate a depressurization of a full-scale CO2-transport pipeline.

Two PhD candidates have been working in the project. One studied flow models and the other studies thermodynamic models, especially for CO2-water mixtures. 

CO2 Dynamics has achieved three main results:

  • Improved basic understanding of CO2 transport, which will be of use for future CCS projects
  • Educated two PhD candidates, who will contribute to improving the competence in industry or in research
  • A combined flow and thermodynamic model which can calculate CO2 flow in pipes, and which can be employed to study the effect of different sub-models and parameters.


Journal articles

Conference proceedings

PhD theses

  • Lund, H.
    Relaxation models for two-phase flow with applications to CO2 transport.
    PhD thesis, Dept. of Energy and Process Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), August 2013.

Master's theses

Project partners:

Industry partners: Gassco AS, Statoil Petroleum AS and Vattenfall Research and Development AB
Research-performing partners: SINTEF Energy Research and NTNU

Key Factors

Project duration

2009 - 2013