Dr. Marina Iorio

Istituto Scienze Marine, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR-ISMAR), Italy


Talk Title
Low-middle enthalpy geothermal system in structural controlled aquifer: sustainability analysis of exploitation and applications
Talk Abstract

The total (electric and thermal) potential energy of a geothermal reservoir depends on many variables such us thermal regime, geological structure and hydrogeological properties. Recently, worldwide use of groundwater, extracted via open-loop systems, is increasingly being considered an efficient means for heating and cooling of the buildings. Fault controlled carbonate extensional domains, largely widespread in Southern Europe, can represent sites where temperatures in the range of low or middle enthalpy geothermal applications (T < 150°C) may be reached at relatively shallow depths (<0.5 km). The fault controlled geothermal sites are accompanied by hydrothermal activity, hot fluids circulation and mineralization processes. In this framework, knowing of scientific-technical data related to the potential of geothermal reservoirs and to the sustainability of the resources represents a crucial task to assess the economic feasibility of the geothermal exploitation and the development of future project plant. Numerical simulation trough multiphase family codes is also recognized as a fundamental tool for the elaboration and assessment of using geothermal energy which is otherwise considered to be highly risky.

In recent times, the installation of innovative pilot geothermal electric and heating power plants has been incentivized in Southern Italy; therefore, several geothermal projects and studies have started, based

on the cooperation among industries, universities and research institutes showing different degree of social acceptance.

In this framework, among different case studies, the sustainability of the geothermal exploitation of the Mondragone low temperature geothermal field, (located at about 60 km north of Naples) is presented. This geothermal field and its faulted carbonate reservoir have been extensively studied through the VIGOR project (a national project coordinated by the Italian National Council Research and sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development – MiSE).

Using the obtained geothermal model, a well-doublet open loop low enthalpy district heating plant project has been developed. A numerical simulation with the commercial software COMSOL Multiphysics® is carried out to assess the reservoir thermal perturbation due to extraction and reinjection of fluids. Groundwater level variation and temperature disturbance are evaluated for 60 years of system operation for heating needs. The wellbore effect on the reservoir is represented by the fluid injection/withdrawal, at a rate suitable to produce the required thermal power. 

Carbonate geothermal reservoirs, sustainable geothermal energy exploitation,  Southern Italy, numerical simulation.
Short Biography

Marina Iorio received a Ph.D in Geophysics at the University of Plymouth, Devon, U.K., and she is actually Geophysical Researcher and Scientific Responsible of  Petrophysical laboratory at the Institute of Marine Science, National Council of Research (CNR-ISMAR), Naples, Italy. She recently was the scientific responsible for CNR and Italian Ministry of Economic Development for geothermal evaluation of Campania and Sicily Italian regions (VIGOR Project). She has been working with important scientific institutions all over the world (i.e. University of Southampton, U.K.; University of California, Santa Cruz, USA; Columbia University, New York, USA; Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China). Among international acknowledgments,  she has been invited to participate to the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) which is an international research organization located in the United States that conducts seagoing expeditions to study the history of the Earth. Her research activity has been concerned with the development of High Resolution Magnetostratigraphy which opened new perspectives on the presence of orbital periodicities in the Geomagnetic Field. Recent research interest has been focused on High Resolution stratigraphic correlation using sedimentological, petrophysical and paleomagnetic data in marine and terrestrial environments applied to palaeoclimatic significance, natural hazard  and geothermic studies.  Her main strength is in combining different expertise within the Earth Science in order to develop a better understanding of  Earth processes as documented by more than 130 papers between peer-reviewed journals, books series, conference proceedings and communications. She is or has been principal investigator or local scientific responsible of several regional and national geothermal research projects (obtaining about  2,3 M€ of research grants over the 10 last years).

Target Audience
Students, Post doctoral, Industry, Doctors and professors
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