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Article

Role of cations in the methane/carbon dioxide partitioning in nano- and mesopores of illite using constant reservoir composition molecular dynamics simulation

The Journal of Physical Chemistry C. 2020. Vol. 124. P. 2490-2500.
Loganathan N., Yazaydin A. O., Bowers G. M., Ngouana-Wakou B. F., Kalinichev A. G., Kirkpatrick R. J.

We performed constant reservoir composition molecular dynamics (CRC-MD) simulations at 323 K and 124 bar to quantitatively study the partitioning of fluid species between the nano- and mesopores of clay and a bulk reservoir containing an equimolar mixture of CO2 and CH4. The results show that the basal (001) and protonated edge (010) surfaces of illite both demonstrate a strong preference for CO2 over CH4 adsorption; that the (001) surfaces show a stronger preference for CO2 than the (010) surfaces, especially with K+ as the exchangeable cation; and that the structuring of the near-surface CO2 by K+ is stronger than that by Na+. The protonated (010) surfaces have a somewhat greater preference for CH4, with the concentration near them close to that in the bulk fluid. The effects of the surfaces on the fluid composition extend to approximately 2.0 nm from them, with the fluid composition at the center of the pore becoming essentially the same as the bulk composition at a pore thickness of ~5.7 nm. The preference of nano- and mesopores bounded by clay minerals for CO2 over CH4 suggests that injection of CO2 into tight reservoirs is likely to displace CH4 into larger pores, thus enhancing its production.