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Open AccessArticle

Synthetic Rock Analogue for Permeability Studies of Rock Salt with Mudstone

State Key Laboratory of Geomechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430071, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(9), 946;
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clean Energy and Fuel (Hydrogen) Storage)
Knowledge about the permeability of surrounding rock (salt rock and mudstone interlayer) is an important topic, which acts as a key parameter to characterize the tightness of gas storage. The goal of experiments that test the permeability of gas storage facilities in rock salt is to develop a synthetic analogue to use as a permeability model. To address the permeability of a mudstone/salt layered and mixed rock mass in Jintan, Jiangsu Province, synthetic mixed and layered specimens using the mudstone and the salt were fabricated for permeability testing. Because of the gas “slippage effect”, test results are corrected by the Klinkenberg method, and the permeability of specimens is obtained by regression fitting. The results show that the permeability of synthetic pure rock salt is 6.9 × 10−20 m2, and its porosity is 3.8%. The permeability of synthetic mudstone rock is 2.97 × 10−18 m2, with a porosity 17.8%. These results are close to those obtained from intact natural specimens. We also find that with the same mudstone content, the permeability of mixed specimens is about 40% higher than for the layered specimens, and with an increase in the mudstone content, the Klinkenberg permeability increases for both types of specimens. The permeability and mudstone content have a strong exponential relationship. When the mudstone content is below 40%, the permeability increases only slightly with mudstone content, whereas above this threshold, the permeability increases rapidly with mudstone content. The results of the study are of use in the assessment of the tightness of natural gas storage facilities in mudstone-rich rock salt formations in China. View Full-Text
Keywords: gas storage; material science; rock permeability; synthetic rock salt testing; Klinkenberg method gas storage; material science; rock permeability; synthetic rock salt testing; Klinkenberg method
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Yin, H.; Ma, H.; Chen, X.; Shi, X.; Yang, C.; Dusseault, M.B.; Zhang, Y. Synthetic Rock Analogue for Permeability Studies of Rock Salt with Mudstone. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 946.

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