The influence of CO2 saturation time on the coal gas flow: Fractured bituminous coal

Xiaogang Zhang, Ranjith Pathegama Gamage, M. S. A. Perera, A. Haque, A. S. Ranathunga

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15 Citations (Scopus)


The permeability reduction due to the coal matrix swelling induced by the adsorption of CO2 is the major concern during enhanced coalbed methane recovery (ECBM) as well as CO2 sequestration in coal reservoir. Many problems arise in the context of this process regarding the coal permeability variations, and very few studies have been made with consideration of long-term CO2 saturations on gas flow behaviour alterations. The main objective of this study is therefore to examine the influence of both subcritical and supercritical CO2 flooding durations on N2 and CO2 permeability variation of naturally fractured low volatile bituminous coal under various tri-axial conditions. Five CO2 flooding durations, up to 65 h, both subcritical (6 MPa) and supercritical (14, 20 MPa), were introduced to the sample under three confinements, respectively. Results show that for 11 MPa and 17 MPa confining environment, most permeability reduction occurs during the first CO2 flooding process, and supercritical CO2 flooding causes significant higher N2 permeability reduction (from 14.38% to 50.18%) than subcritical CO2 (from 4.11% to 11.25%). The permeability reduction rate decreases with time but this reduction continues even after a total of 153 h flooding. Longer permeability reduction process is observed upon supercritical CO2 adsorption due to the much higher viscosity of supercritical CO2. Under deep underground condition (>1 km), CO2 exhibits a N2-like flow behaviour because of the dominant poroelastic effect. The influence of CO2 flooding on permeability alterations has been significantly compromised with much smaller permeability reduction after 20 MPa CO2 flooding compared with 14 MPa CO2 flooding (7.33% and 38.75% for 7 MPa CO2 injection pressure, respectively), along with no apparent permeability reduction for the further CO2 flooding scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-161
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019


  • Natural fractured bituminous coal
  • Permeability variation
  • Saturation duration
  • Supercritical CO

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