Investigation on the Permeability Evolution of Gypsum Interlayer Under High Temperature and Triaxial Pressure

Investigation on the Permeability Evolution of Gypsum Interlayer Under High Temperature and... The permeability of the surrounding rock is a critical parameter for the designing and assessment of radioactive waste disposal repositories in the rock salt. Generally, in the locations that are chosen for radioactive waste storage, the bedded rock salt is a sedimentary rock that contains NaCl and Na2SO4. Most likely, there are also layers of gypsum $$( {\text{CaSO}}_{ 4} \cdot 2 {\text{H}}_{ 2} {\text{O)}}$$ ( CaSO 4 · 2 H 2 O) present in the salt deposit. Radioactive wastes emit a large amount of heat and hydrogen during the process of disposal, which may result in thermal damage of the surrounding rocks and cause a great change in their permeability and tightness. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the permeability evolution of the gypsum interlayer under high temperature and high pressure in order to evaluate the tightness and security of the nuclear waste repositories in bedded rock salt. In this study, a self-designed rock triaxial testing system by which high temperature and pressure can be applied is used; the μCT225kVFCB micro-CT system is also employed to investigate the permeability and microstructure of gypsum specimens under a constant hydrostatic pressure of 25 MPa, an increasing temperature (ranging from 20 to 650 °C), and a variable inlet gas pressure (1, 2, 4, 6 MPa). The experimental results show: (a) the maximum permeability measured during the whole experiment is less than 10−17 m2, which indicates that the gypsum interlayer has low permeability under high temperature and pressure that meet the requirements for radioactive waste repository. (b) Under the same temperature, the permeability of the gypsum specimen decreases at the beginning and then increases as the pore pressure elevates. When the inlet gas pressure is between 0 and 2 MPa, the Klinkenberg effect is very pronounced. Then, as the pore pressure increases, the movement behavior of gas molecules gradually changes from free motion to forced directional motion. So the role of free movement of gas molecules gradually reduced, which eventually leads to a decrease in permeability. When the inlet gas pressure is between 2 and 6 MPa, the Klinkenberg effect dribbles away, and the gas flow gradually obeys to the Darcy’s law. Hence, the permeability increased with the increase in inlet gas pressure. (c) The curve of permeability versus temperature is divided into five stages based on its gradient. In the temperature range of 20–100 °C, the permeability of gypsum decreased slowly when the temperature decreased. From 100 to 200 °C, the permeability of gypsum increased dramatically when the temperature increased. However, a dramatic increase in permeability was observed from 200 to 450 °C. Subsequently, in the temperature range of 450–550 °C, due to closure of pores and fractures, the permeability of the specimens slowly lessened when the temperature increased. From 550 to 650 °C, the permeability of gypsum slightly increased when the temperature increased; (d) the micro-cracks and porosity obtained from the CT images show a high degree of consistency to the permeability evolution; (e) when compared to the permeability evolutions of sandstone, granite, and lignite, gypsum exhibits a stable evolution trend of permeability and has a much greater threshold temperature when its permeability increases sharply. The results of the paper may provide essential and valuable references for the design and construction of high-level radioactive wastes repository in bedded salt rock containing gypsum interlayers. Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering Springer Journals

Investigation on the Permeability Evolution of Gypsum Interlayer Under High Temperature and Triaxial Pressure

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Springer Vienna
Copyright © 2017 by Springer-Verlag Wien
Earth Sciences; Geophysics/Geodesy; Civil Engineering
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