Fuel, Vol.242, 687-698, 2019
Tackling the challenges in the estimation of methane absolute adsorption in kerogen nanoporous media from molecular and analytical approaches
Accurate characterization of methane absolute adsorption in shale nanoporous media is of great importance to the gas-in-place (GIP) estimation and well productivity. Because experimental measurement can only provide the excess adsorption, the absolute adsorption is generally converted from the excess adsorption based on the single-layer adsorption model. However, it is well known that shale has a widespread pore size distribution (PSD), ranging from sub 2-nm to hundreds of nanometers. In micropores ( < 2 nm), methane may have layering structures, which deviates from the commonly used adsorption model. Thus, it is necessary to take into account the varying methane adsorption behavior in micropores and mesopores and consider the PSD effect to obtain the absolute adsorption from the experimentally measured excess adsorption. In this work, we propose a number of artificially generated PSDs and study methane adsorption in each nanopore by using grand canonical Monte Carlo (GCMC) simulations. By coupling GCMC simulations and varying PSDs, we effectively model methane adsorption in nanoporous media. Based on the varying density profiles in different nanopores obtained from GCMC, we propose the corresponding methane adsorption model in each nanopore, which is applied in Ono-Kondo (OK) lattice model. By fitting the excess adsorption in nanoporous media and explicitly considering the PSD, OK model can readily obtain the absolute adsorption. In order to validate our model, 1000 sets of randomly generated PSDs are used. We find that our proposed OK model has an excellent agreement with GCMC simulation, while the commonly used method to convert the excess adsorption to the absolute adsorption without considering the PSD shows noticeable deviations. Moreover, the optimized constant adsorbed phase densities are very different from the commonly used values as 424 kg/m(3) and 373 kg/m(3). Our work proposes a simple, efficient and accurate empirical model to obtain the absolute adsorption in nanoporous media. This work should provide important insights into accurate characterization methane absolute adsorption and the gas-in-place estimation in shale.