BIOREP - Monitoring of microbiological and geochemical processes in high pressure and dynamic conditions

Facility Location
City & country
Orleans (France)
Description & contacts of the access provider
Legal name of organisation
BRGM - Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières
Infrastructure contact - Primary contact
Sébastien Dupraz
RICC contact - Secondary contact
Sébastien Dupraz
Facility Availability
Unit of access
Availability per year
Mininum 4 weeks
Expected duration of single experiment:
4 weeks
Operational or other constraints
Specific risks:
Risk associated to high pressure vessels as well as to the use of pressurized gas.

The BIOREP facility is a high pressure set up to perform percolation and transfer experiments on fluid-rock interactions under a large range of pressure and temperature conditions, while continuously monitoring geochemical and bio-geochemical evolution. The facility is particularly adapted to monitor biological system evolution during the experiment.

The range of pressure and temperature of BIOREP allows for simulating conditions that are typical for CO2 storage or for CO2 leakage along a deep well or in the overburden. It could be also employed to simulate other subsurface storage conditions (e.g. other gas, water, oils) and systems of exploitation (e.g. geothermal, in-situ biolixiviation).

The facility could be used to conduct classical batch experiments, equilibration or transfer experiment between compartments through columns and also microfluidic percolations in highly pressurized micro-chips.

The percolation is performed between two or three high pressurized batch cells, with a high pressure syringes or a pump and can be applied to fluids (gas or liquids, supercritical fluids). Different setups can be realized to answer specific questions (i.e. with different types of regulating modules between these cells). For instance: Batch A can be set up with a predefined geochemical equilibrium and a gas phase can be introduced. A chosen reaction matrix (being crushed rock, sediments, pellets or synthetic material) inoculated with microorganisms can be tested in different percolation systems (column, Hassler cell or microcells). The B batch allows collecting fluids after percolation for sampling purpose. At the end of experiment, the column can be analysed.

Experimental conditions: Temperature from -10 to 120°C. Pressure up to 200 bar. Materials in contact with fluids: PTFE, PEEK, C276 (Hastelloy) and silica and borosilicate for the microfluidic cells. All the gases and liquids can be collected under pressure or progressively degassed to avoid risk and biases linked to decompression. The microfluidic line is being tested and should be ready to use in 2016. This line will allow online pH and redox measurements as well as direct microscopic/Raman observations. Moreover, a Hassler cell will be added to this platform during 2016 and will be also available after.

Figure 1: examples of possible set up in biorep
Figure 2: Example of set up with 3 batch cells and measurements systems on the microfluidic line.
Figure 2: Example of set up with 3 batch cells and measurements systems on the microfluidic line.
Figure 2: Example of set up with 3 batch cells and measurements systems on the microfluidic line.
Figure 2: Example of set up with 3 batch cells and measurements systems on the microfluidic line.
State of the art, uniqueness, & specific advantages

BIOREP allows the monitoring of microbiological systems in high pressure and dynamic conditions, which is unique. In particular BIOREP differs from other facilities on the following properties:

  • Respect of the biologic neutrality of the containment and limit the risk of bio-corrosion associated. Most material in contact with the studied medium and biological system is Téflon or Hastelloy.
  • Sampling procedure and process adapted to micro biological material to ensure a slow decompression and avoid cell lethality related to decompression.
  • Possibility of managing independently the batch’s geochemistry and therefore to create gradients through the column between the two batches (for instance between oxic and anoxic areas).
  • Possibility to use geological laboratories on chips as well as transfer cells (Hassler cell, columns).
  • Pressure, temperature, gas consumption and regulation, flow rate, pH and redox can be monitored on line depending the designed setup. 
Scientific Environment

Thanks to its modular and compartmentalized conception, BIOREP allows a wide range of experiments to study microbiological and geochemical processes with in situ conditions typical of, or related to (well, overburden condition), CO2 storage.


Other Large Initiatives
Other Large Initiatives


Patent Number: 1351753

selected publications

Dupraz, S., Fabbri, A., Joulian, C., Dictor, M.-C., Battaglia-Brunet, F., Ménez, B., Crouzet, C., Henry, B., Garrido, F. (2013)
Impact of CO2 concentration on autotrophic metabolisms and carbon fate in saline aquifers
A case study. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 119, 61-76
Dupraz, S., Ménez, B., Gouze, P., Leprovost, R., Bénézeth, P., Pokrovsky, O.S., Guyot, F. (2009)
Experimental approach of CO2 biomineralization in deep saline aquifers
Chemical Geology 265, 54-62
Dupraz, S., Parmentier, M., Ménez, B., Guyot, F. (2009)
Experimental and numerical modeling of bacterially induced pH increase and calcite precipitation in saline aquifers
Chemical Geology 265, 44-53
Guyot, F., Daval, D., Dupraz, S., Martinez, I., Ménez, B., Sissmann, O. (2011)
CO2 geological storage: The environmental mineralogy perspective
Comptes Rendus Geoscience 343, 246-259
Ménez, B., Dupraz, S., Gérard, E., Guyot, F., Rommevaux-Jestin, C., Libert, M., Jullien, M., Michel, C., Delorme, F., Battaglia-Brunet, F., Ignatiadis, I., Garcia, B., Blanchet, D., Huc, A.Y., Haeseler, F., Oger, P., Dromart, G., Ollivier, B., Magot, M. (2007)
Impact of the deep biosphere on CO2 storage performance
Geotechnologien Science Report 9, 150-163.