3D CT scan image analysis of wormholes

Cylindrical carbonate specimens of approximately 65-70 mm length and 25 mm diameter were treated with chemical stimulants, an acid and a biodegradable, non-hazardous liquid. Our task was to carry out CT scanning and to construct 3D models of both the plugs. The aim was to visualize the pathways and interconnected pore space (or “wormholes”) which both the agents created in the limestone. Our 3D reconstruction revealed that the acid dissolves much more carbonate rock and forms a much broader channel than the biogradable liquid. However, the fine network of wormholes created by this liquid is much more suitable as a pathway for hydrocarbons and consequently, the non-hazardous liquid serves as the more appropriate stimulant compared to the acid.

Wormholes created by an acid.
Wormholes created by a biodegradable, non-hazardous liquid.
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In September 2019 the Swiss National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (NAGRA) commisioned Gesteinslabor with UCS, Brazilian and triaxial tests on neighbouring rocks of the Opalinus Clay - the rock which will host Switzerland's future facilities for nuclear waste disposal.

Gesteinslabor receives funding from BMWi for the development of a new test rig. With this funding, our company will open up a new business field in renewable energies by implementing an innovative technology to determine the capillary threshold pressure with hydrogen on cap rock of underground gas storage facilities.