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.
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:
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.