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Title: A model for pipeline transportation of supercritical CO2 for geological storage
Category: Technical papers from the Journal of Pipeline Engineering
Downloadable: Yes 
Catalog No.: 2149s
Date of Publication: Dec 1 2008 12:00AM
Price: $25.00 US
Authors: Professor José Luiz de Medeiros,* Betina M Versiani, and Ofélia Q F Araújo
Abstract: IT IS WELL recognized in many broad circles – as well in restricted ones – that cumulative emissions of greenhouse gases (basically CO2) are gradually and dangerously contributing to a measurable and concrete anthropogenic interference of the global climate system. From the viewpoint of the current century, CCGS – carbon capture and geological storage – is being considered as the most serious response by industry for mitigating the effects of emissions of fossil carbon into the atmosphere. CCGS demands the co-operative intervention of three technologies: (a) capture and compression of CO2 from large industrial sources; (b) transportation of CO2 from sources to feasible geological sinks; and (c) geological injection, storage, and retention of CO2. It is currently recognized, both technically and economically, that only the second of these three ‘legs’ – transport of CO2 via high-pressure and high-capacity pipelines – is proven to be a reliable and feasible technology in the CCGS ‘tripod’.

On the other hand, the thermodynamic characteristics of CO2 transportation by pipeline are very particular, in which the supercriticality, high density, and high compressibility of the fluid play important roles. In this area, the literature seems to be not particularly forthcoming in terms of decisive studies. The work of McCoy [1] is a recent exception due to its analytical nature, full engagement in searching for valid economic estimates, and ample scope of investigation. Nevertheless, the pipeline model proposed in this study has made certain simplifications which may compromise some of its results in view of the characteristics of the flow.

In this context, the present work addresses a modelling and simulating resource capable of generating quantitative responses concerning CO2 transportation issues in the CCGS scenario. That is, we present a rigorous pipeline model for transportation of CO2 in the supercritical state, and demonstrate its use for simulating CO2 transportation to an appropriate geological formation for storage. This model takes into account the physical particulars of supercritical CO2 within a rigorous stationary high-density compressible flow framework. The features of this model include (a) high-density supercritical thermodynamic and transport properties; (b) correct topographic effects (i.e. gravitational compression and expansion of the fluid and respective thermal consequences); (c) heat transfer effects according to temperature distributions in the soil and in the injection column; and (d) the ability to allow multiple machine stations such as booster compressors, exchangers, and recovery turbines. The model was designed for engineering applications involving pipelines which transport dense supercritical CO2 either in its pure form, or in mixtures with other gases and fluids.


1. S.T.McCoy, 2008. The economics of CO2 transport by pipeline and storage in saline aquifers and oil reservoirs. PhD Thesis, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA.
2. B.S.Fisher, et al., 2007. Issues related to mitigation in the long term, context, In: Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the 4th Assessment Report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), B.Metz et al. Eds, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
3. K.Thambimuthu et al., 2005. Capture of CO2 in IPCC Special Report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage, B.Metz et al. Eds, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
4. S.Churchill, 1977. Friction-factor equation spans all fluid-flow regimes. Chemical Engineering, 11, pp91-92.
5. B.E.Poling, J.M.Prausnitz, and J.P.O’Connell, 2001. The properties of gases and liquids, 5th Edn, McGraw-Hill Book Co.
6. T.H.Chung, et al., 1988. Generalized multi-parameter correlation for nonpolar and polar fluid transport properties. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 27, pp671-679.
7. R.S.H.Mah, 1990. Chemical process structures and information flows. Butterworth Publishers, New York.
8. Medeiros, A.L.H.Costa, J.P.P.Neto, and O.Q.F.Araújo, 2002. Dynamic modeling of pipeline networks for dense compressible fluids tuned with time series of plant data. Proc. IPC-2002, International Pipeline Conference, Calgary, Canada.

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