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On site experiments about silica deposition and kinetics data during the cooling of the Bouillante geothermal fluids (Guadeloupe, French West Indies)

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Résumé

The main aim of this study, co-funded by BRGM, Regional Council of Guadeloupe, European Union, ADEME and UAG, was to examine the silica deposition mechanisms and estimate their deposition kinetics at acidic and basic pH conditions, during the cooling from 260 to 25°C of separated waters, discharged from production wells, located in the Bouillante geothermal field. The acquisition of this type of information is very useful not only for the geothermal exploitation but especially, if production fluids are re-injected in the ground, as this is envisaged in the Bouillante geothermal field. The different on site experiments showed that, in these conditions, the silica deposition was always initiated by a silica polymerization mechanism and the formation of a white colloidal gel, which slowed down the silica precipitation. In agreement with the literature data, this polymerization mechanism is characterized by an order 2 kinetic law, strongly dependant on pH. The determination of the specific surface area by specific mercury porosimetry for this gel (250 m2/g) in the UAG laboratories, allowed estimating the corresponding kinetic constant at 25°C. Other experiments at different final temperatures (50, 75 and 100°C) are necessary in order to define this constant as a function of the temperature. The silica precipitation under amorphous silica form was observed much later, after the polymerization stage, and only in particular conditions (long time of atmospheric exposure, water stagnation...). The pH of the Bouillante geothermal fluid is estimated to be close to 5.3±0.3, at 260°C, in the reservoir conditions. If this parameter, very influent on the kinetics of silica deposition, can be preserved at values less than 7 during the re-injection of the production fluids in the ground at relatively high temperatures (150-160°C), it is strongly probable that no chemical treatment is necessary to avoid silica precipitation.
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Dates et versions

hal-00575943 , version 1 (11-03-2011)

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  • HAL Id : hal-00575943 , version 1

Citer

Christelle Dixit, Bernard Sanjuan, Marie-Lise Bernard, Michel Brach. On site experiments about silica deposition and kinetics data during the cooling of the Bouillante geothermal fluids (Guadeloupe, French West Indies). 19ème Conférence Géologique de la Caraïbe - 2011, Mar 2011, Gosier, Guadeloupe, France. ⟨hal-00575943⟩

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