Levich Institute Seminar – Tuesday, 09/10/2024

Tuesday, 09/10/2024
2:00 PM
Steinman Hall #312 

Professor Shaina Kelly
Columbia University, Earth and Environmental Engineering

“Multiphase Flow and Mineral Crystallization Behaviors in Geologic Porous Media: Implications for Carbon Storage”


In situ (subsurface) carbon storage and mineralization and enhanced rock weathering are especially promising Gigaton-scale, long-term CO2 storage technologies. During these engineered processes, CO2 is trapped in the form of carbonate and bicarbonate ions (ionic trapping) or converted to carbonate minerals through dissolution and precipitation reactions. To counter rising anthropogenic emissions, these technologies require minerals and mechanisms that react with CO2 on accelerated timescales; e.g. basaltic rocks and other mafic/ultramafic minerals, silicates rich in metal cations (Ca, Mg, Fe) such as olivine and peridotite. This talk discusses the use of pore-scale computational fluid dynamics simulations and microfluidics as combined diagnostic methods for quantifying functional relationships between flow rates, partial saturation, permeability, and crystallization in porous media. These relationships are related to engineered and natural CO2-rich hydrothermal reactions in basalts to understand the potential impacts of short- and long-term CO2 storage on mineral alteration and changes in pore size distribution. Further, the findings are linked to bulk petrophysical and hydrologic measurements such as water saturation and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), which can be used to detect carbon mineralization extent in geologic testbeds.


Shaina Kelly is an Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering at Columbia University in the City of New York and the Assistant Director of Columbia’s Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy. Shaina joined Columbia in July 2022. Prior to her academic appointment, Shaina’s 6 years of industry experience include roles as Senior Petrophysicist at ConocoPhillips Company and Senior Geoscience Engineer at AquaNRG Consulting Inc. working on petrophysics and flow in subsurface porous media research topics. She received a PhD in Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in 2015, and a BSc in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida in 2011. Shaina specializes in the integration of pore- to core-scale sample analyses

techniques, microscopy, micro/nanofluidics, and computational fluid dynamics methods to identify emergent pore-scale phenomena in unconventional rocks.


Shaina and her research group investigate transport phenomena in complex/unconventional geologic and engineered porous media. They are particularly interested in the interplay between nano- and microscale multiphase fluid flow and fluid-mineral interactions in subsurface rocks and soils for sustainable energy and environmental applications.

Kelly Lab’s ongoing projects and collaborations include quantification of the carbon storage and mineralization capacity in basalts, natural microemulsions in porous media, the impact of flow and pore structure on crystallization behaviors, and in situ critical minerals recovery.

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