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Rev Sci Instrum. 2017 Jan;88(1):015108. doi: 10.1063/1.4973963.

High pressure gas flow, storage, and displacement in fractured rock-Experimental setup development and application.

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Geoenvironmental Research Centre, School of Engineering, Cardiff University, The Queen's Buildings, Newport Road, Cardiff CF24 3AA, United Kingdom.


This paper presents the design, development, and application of a laboratory setup for the experimental investigations of gas flow and reactions in a fractured rock. The laboratory facility comprises (i) a high pressure manometric sorption apparatus, where equilibrium and kinetic phenomena of adsorption and desorption can be examined, (ii) a high pressure triaxial core flooding system where the chemical reactive transport properties or processes can be explored, and (iii) an ancillary system including pure and mixed gas supply and analysis units. Underground conditions, in terms of pore pressure, confining pressure, and temperature, can be replicated using the triaxial core flooding system developed for depths up to 2 km. Core flooding experiments can be conducted under a range of gas injection pressures up to 20 MPa and temperatures up to 338 K. Details of the design considerations and the specification for the critical measuring instruments are described. The newly developed laboratory facility has been applied to study the adsorption of N2, CH4, and CO2 relevant to applications in carbon sequestration in coal and enhanced coalbed methane recovery. Under a wide range of pressures, the flow of helium in a core sample was studied and the evolution of absolute permeability at different effective stress conditions has been investigated. A comprehensive set of high resolution data has been produced on anthracite coal samples from the South Wales coalfield, using the developed apparatus. The results of the applications provide improved insight into the high pressure flow and reaction of various gas species in the coal samples from the South Wales coalfield.

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