College of Science & Engineering
This group conducts quantitative research in geophysical fluid dynamics on multi-phase, multi-component, reactive fluid and energy transfer in the subsurface. The main focus of this project is to study CO2 based geothermal systems in which CO2 is injected into the subsurface to enhance the extraction of geothermal energy from the subsurface. Other foci include water-based geothermal energy extraction and various physicochemical aspects of natural and engineered geothermal systems. In particular, the group utilizes computational methods to characterize petrophysical and chemical properties of geologic environments. They have developed unique methodologies for measuring contact angle and surface tension coefficients using pore-scale Lattice-Boltzmann simulations.
These studies involve the modeling of fluid, heat, and reactive flow in the subsurface along with the changes in porosity and permeability that occur within the reservoir due to reaction. Various numerical simulators are used for these modeling studies, such as LBHydra, TOUGH2MP, TOUGHREACT, and PFLOTRAN. The latest generation of these simulators have been optimized to efficiently exploit the high-performance computers available through MSI.