Equations for calculating hydrogeochemical reactions of minerals and gases such as CO2 at high pressures and temperatures

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
By: , and 



Calculating the solubility of gases and minerals at the high pressures of carbon capture and storage in geological reservoirs requires an accurate description of the molar volumes of aqueous species and the fugacity coefficients of gases. Existing methods for calculating the molar volumes of aqueous species are limited to a specific concentration matrix (often seawater), have been fit for a limited temperature (below 60 °C) or pressure range, apply only at infinite dilution, or are defined for salts instead of individual ions. A more general and reliable calculation of apparent molar volumes of single ions is presented, based on a modified Redlich–Rosenfeld equation. The modifications consist of (1) using the Born equation to calculate the temperature dependence of the intrinsic volumes, following Helgeson–Kirkham–Flowers (HKF), but with Bradley and Pitzer’s expression for the dielectric permittivity of water, (2) using the pressure dependence of the extended Debye–Hückel equation to constrain the limiting slope of the molar volume with ionic strength, and (3) adopting the convention that the proton has zero volume at all ionic strengths, temperatures and pressures. The modifications substantially reduce the number of fitting parameters, while maintaining or even extending the range of temperature and pressure over which molar volumes can be accurately estimated. The coefficients in the HKF-modified-Redlich–Rosenfeld equation were fitted by least-squares on measured solution densities.

The limiting volume and attraction factor in the Van der Waals equation of state can be estimated with the Peng–Robinson approach from the critical temperature, pressure, and acentric factor of a gas. The Van der Waals equation can then be used to determine the fugacity coefficients for pure gases and gases in a mixture, and the solubility of the gas can be calculated from the fugacity, the molar volume in aqueous solution, and the equilibrium constant. The coefficients for the Peng–Robinson equations are readily available in the literature.

The required equations have been implemented in PHREEQC, version 3, and the parameters for calculating the partial molar volumes and fugacity coefficients have been added to the databases that are distributed with PHREEQC. The ease of use and power of the formulation are illustrated by calculating the solubility of CO2 at high pressures and temperatures, and comparing with well-known examples from the geochemical literature. The equations and parameterizations are suitable for wide application in hydrogeochemical systems, especially in the field of carbon capture and storage.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Equations for calculating hydrogeochemical reactions of minerals and gases such as CO2 at high pressures and temperatures
Series title Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
DOI 10.1016/j.gca.2013.10.003
Volume 125
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) National Research Program - Central Branch
Description 19 p.
First page 49
Last page 67
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details