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Article

An Integrated Imaging Study of the Pore Structure of the Cobourg Limestone—A Potential Nuclear Waste Host Rock in Canada

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Energy and Mineral Resources Group, RWTH Aachen University, 52064 Aachen, Germany
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School of Energy Science and Engineering, Henan Polytechnic University, Jiaozuo 454003, China
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School of Geosciences, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266580, China
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Map–Microstructure and Pores GmbH, 52064 Aachen, Germany
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TESCAN XRE, 9052 Ghent, Belgium
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Brenk Systemplanung GmbH, 52080 Aachen, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Fernando Rocha and Mazen Alshaaer
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1042; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101042
Received: 8 August 2021 / Revised: 19 September 2021 / Accepted: 23 September 2021 / Published: 26 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Topic Industrial Application of Clays and Clay Minerals)
With the development of imaging technology, tools to quantitatively describe pore structure, morphology, and connectivity have been widely applied on low permeable rocks; however, it is still questionable to what extent this information can be used to predict permeability. Applicability and comparability of different techniques are discussed here for the Middle Ordovician Cobourg limestone (Canada), a rock dominated by calcite grains of variable sizes (µm–cm) and heterogeneously distributed quartz, dolomite, pyrite, and meshy clay minerals. Absolute porosities determined by helium pycnometry (HP) in literature are approximately 1.6% (±0.9%), and gas permeabilities range from 10−20 to 10−19 m2. Porosities obtained from BIB-SEM are much smaller compared to those from HP (16–69% of HP). Pores found in clays are smaller, slit-shaped, and more densely spaced when compared to those in calcite minerals. Connectivity between pores could not be resolved with 3D micro-CT or FIB-SEM reconstructions, which have a resolution limit of 8 µm and 10 nm, respectively. However, assuming the pores to be connected, laboratory-derived permeability data could be fitted using a simple capillary bundle model, including information about the visible pore size distributions obtained from BIB-SEM images and a tortuosity range of 8 to 15. View Full-Text
Keywords: Cobourg limestone; BIB-SEM; FIB-SEM; pore size distribution; permeability Cobourg limestone; BIB-SEM; FIB-SEM; pore size distribution; permeability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hu, Z.; Lu, S.; Klaver, J.; Dewanckele, J.; Amann-Hildenbrand, A.; Gaus, G.; Littke, R. An Integrated Imaging Study of the Pore Structure of the Cobourg Limestone—A Potential Nuclear Waste Host Rock in Canada. Minerals 2021, 11, 1042. https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101042

AMA Style

Hu Z, Lu S, Klaver J, Dewanckele J, Amann-Hildenbrand A, Gaus G, Littke R. An Integrated Imaging Study of the Pore Structure of the Cobourg Limestone—A Potential Nuclear Waste Host Rock in Canada. Minerals. 2021; 11(10):1042. https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101042

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hu, Zhazha, Shuangfang Lu, Jop Klaver, Jan Dewanckele, Alexandra Amann-Hildenbrand, Garri Gaus, and Ralf Littke. 2021. "An Integrated Imaging Study of the Pore Structure of the Cobourg Limestone—A Potential Nuclear Waste Host Rock in Canada" Minerals 11, no. 10: 1042. https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101042

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