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Volume 7, issue 2
Solid Earth, 7, 651–658, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-7-651-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: Pore-scale tomography & imaging - applications, techniques...

Solid Earth, 7, 651–658, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-7-651-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Method article 22 Apr 2016

Method article | 22 Apr 2016

A new X-ray-transparent flow-through reaction cell for a μ-CT-based concomitant surveillance of the reaction progress of hydrothermal mineral–fluid interactions

Wolf-Achim Kahl1, Christian Hansen1,a, and Wolfgang Bach1,2 Wolf-Achim Kahl et al.
  • 1Department of Geosciences, University of Bremen, Klagenfurter Straße (GEO), 28359 Bremen, Germany
  • 2MARUM, Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, 28359 Bremen, Germany
  • anow at: Research Group for Marine Geochemistry (ICBM-MPI Bridging Group), Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM), 26129 Oldenburg, Germany

Abstract. A new flow-through reaction cell consisting of an X-ray-transparent semicrystalline thermoplastic has been developed for percolation experiments. Core holder, tubing and all confining parts are constructed using PEEK (polyetheretherketone) to allow concomitant surveillance of the reaction progress by X-ray microtomography (μ-CT). With this cell setup, corrosive or oversaturated fluids can be forced through rock cores (up to ∅ 19 mm) or powders at pressures up to 100 bar and temperatures up to 200 °C. The reaction progress of the experiment can be monitored without dismantling the sample from the core holder.

The combination of this flow-through reaction cell setup with a laboratory X-ray μ-CT system facilitates on-demand monitoring of the reaction progress of (long-term) hydrothermal experiments in the own laboratory, keeping interruption times as short as possible. To demonstrate both the suitability of the cell construction material for X-ray imaging purposes and the experimental performance of the flow-through system, we report the virtually non-existent bias of the PEEK cell setup with distinctive X-ray observations (e.g., differing states of pore fillings: air vs. fluid; detection of delicate fabric elements: filigree zeolite crystals overgrowing weathered muscovite), and the monitoring of the gypsum/anhydrite transition as a case study of a 4-D fabric evolution.

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A new flow-through reaction cell consisting of an X-ray transparent semicrystalline thermoplastic has been developed for percolation experiments. Core holder, tubing and all confining parts are designed of PEEK (polyetheretherketone) to allow concomitant surveillance of the reaction progress by X-ray microtomography. The reaction progress of the flow-through experiment can be monitored without dismantling the sample from the core holder.
A new flow-through reaction cell consisting of an X-ray transparent semicrystalline...
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