The effect of supercritical CO2 on failure mechanisms of hot dry rock

Honglian Li, Xiang Jiang* (Corresponding Author), Zijie Xu, Stephen Bowden* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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Hot dry rock is a clean, renewable resource of geothermal energy with good stability and a high utilization rate. Supercritical CO2 has shown promising results for improving the permeability and heat exchange of hot dry rock. In order to demonstrate the effect of supercritical CO2 on the failure mechanism of granite, the acoustic emission of granite during its failure process were studied in addition to X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and optical electron microscopy investigations. The experimental results showed that for granite without supercritical CO2 treatment, as it approached failure, there were many acoustic emission events with a waiting time less than 0.0001 s, and that the power law exponent of the acoustic emission energy distribution decreased. The failure mechanisms were a combination of fracture and friction, with fracturing dominant. After immersion in supercritical CO2, new cracks and pores appeared in the granite due to the dissolution of minerals, but friction was also a factor evidenced in particle crumbing. Generally, the acoustic emission statistical distributions of granite before and after supercritical CO2 soaking conformed to the seismic statistical distribution law. This study is conducive to increasing the understanding of artificial earthquakes induced by the development of hot dry rock.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-333
Number of pages10
JournalAdvances in Geo-Energy Research
Issue number4
Early online date17 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51904042, 52178313 and 51908088). The authors also thank the Natural Science Foundation of Chongqing (No. cstc2019jcyj-xfkxX0001).


  • hot dry rock
  • power law
  • statistical distributions
  • supercritical CO2
  • failure mechanisms


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