Carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) is one of the technologies that have been proposed to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere. CCS will require the transportation of the CO2 from the “capture” locations to the “storage” locations via large-scale pipeline projects. One of the key requirements for the design and operation of pipelines in all jurisdictions is fracture control. Supercritical CO2 is a particularly challenging fluid from this point of view, because its thermodynamic characteristics are such that a very high driving force for fracture can be sustained for a long time. Even though CO2 is not flammable, it is an asphyxiating gas that is denser than air, and can collect in low-lying areas. Additionally, it is well known that any pipeline rupture, regardless of the nature of the fluid it is transporting, has a damaging reputational, commercial, logistic, and end user impact. Therefore, it is as important to control fracture in a CO2 pipeline as in one transporting a flammable fluid. With materials specified appropriately for the prevention of brittle failure, the key element is the control of propagating ductile (or tearing) fracture. The determination of the required toughness for the arrest of ductile fracture requires knowledge of the decompression behavior of the contained fluid, which in turn requires accurate knowledge of its thermodynamic characteristics along the decompression isentrope. While thermodynamic models based on appropriate EOS (equations of state) are available that will, in principle, allow determination of the decompression wave speed, they, in general, have not been fully validated for very rapid transients following a rupture. This paper presents experimental results of the decompression wave speed obtained from shock tube tests conducted on pure CO2 from different initial conditions, and comparison with predictions by models based on GERG-2008, Peng-Robinson, and BWRS equations of state (EOS). These tests were conducted as a baseline before introducing various impurities.

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