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The need for performance when simulating reactive transport in heterogeneous media

Abstract : In situ Recovery (ISR), or solution mining, is an alternative technique for recovering (usually) deep, poor grade ores. The process involves a series of injection and producer wells, and the circulation of a leaching solution (acidic, basic and/or oxidizing). The leaching solution interacts with the ore body, and solubilizes the desired element. E.g. since 2009, ISR has become the leading technique for uranium exploitation. Reactive transport simulation is an efficient tool to investigate the behavior of ISR exploitation: indeed, the whole process is based on reacting fluid circulation in porous media. The simulation can help understand the processes at stake, optimize the ore dissolution rate, minimize the residual ore after production, and minimize the use of reagents. It can also help understand and predict the long-term impact of the exploitation. A first stage of the simulation is to understand and calibrate the phenomenon at stake: pH buffering by several mineral phases, dissolution of in situ oxidized iron bearing phases and oxidative dissolution of uranium, kinetic controls. The simulation of an exploitation then faces several challenges: strong reactivity of the fluids and fast fluid flow are numerically challenging. Moreover, the large number of wells imposes to cover large domains. Finally, a correct description of the heterogeneity of the medium is key for the simulation to be predictive: 1D or 2D, or 3D with homogenized sections of space fail to reproduce production data. As a result, large simulations, 3D with over 105+ cells, have to be undertaken.
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Contributor : Vincent Lagneau Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 11:35:17 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 12:31:19 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-01080793, version 1


Vincent Lagneau. The need for performance when simulating reactive transport in heterogeneous media. TRePro III – Workshop on Modelling of Coupled Reactive and Transport Processes, Mar 2014, Karlsruhe, Germany. ⟨hal-01080793⟩



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