We simulate a wide range of coupled physicochemical processes occurring in natural systems using the most appropriated available tools and, if needed, developing new tools to address our client’s needs. We are always eager for new modelling challenges.
Our most demanded services are:
Hydrogeology and water resources
Quantifying the optimal and sustainable production of the water sources requires an effort in understanding the natural systems and determining their limitations. Groundwater modelling is a fundamental tool for system understanding and data informed decision-making. Surface and groundwater integrated modelling is a need for most water and environmental managers both in the public (water authorities) and industrial sector (water, mining and oil and gas companies).
Developing a sound and reliable hydrogeological conceptual model is the first and most critical step in the modelling process. We follow the philosophical principle that a numerical model only can be worse that the supporting conceptual model behind. Our team of expert hydrologists, hydrogeologists, environmental chemists and engineers transform field data information into consistent conceptual models, decides the best tool to address the client needs and builds scientifically sound numerical models. The model calibration process is based on a deep knowledge of the different aspects of the hydrogeological and geochemical processes, the consideration of the different length scales involved (from local to regional) together with field data confidence weighting to produce a realistic representation of the natural system.
The risk of water pollution by anthropic activities is unfortunately a common issue. The prediction of their migration and/or the optimal strategy of remediation are some of the answers than models can provide to strategic managers.
Geological systems are not ideal porous media! Often discrete fractures play a crucial role in groundwater flow and contaminant. In those cases, the hydraulic behaviour of the system is highly dependent on the fractures connectivity, density and aperture.
To reproduce groundwater flow in fractured systems it is necessary to incorporate Discrete Fracture Networks (DFN) that are based on stochastic fracture generation. Then, the model can be solved explicitly in the DFN or by applying upscaling techniques to generate an Equivalent Continuum Porous Media (ECPM approach).
Dewatering (Mine and civil works)
Mining operations and civil works below the watertable require continuous dewatering to maintain safe and economic working conditions. The optimal design of the dewatering strategy strongly affects the operational costs. Furthermore, the assessment of the environmental impact of these operations is key to ensure the sustainability of the actvity.
We implement complex actual geometries in highly sophisticated models that can handle fractured media and several nonlinearities such as unsaturated flow and complex time-dependent boundary conditions.
Engineering Barrier Systems Analysis
A part of the long-term safety assessment for nuclear waste repositories concerns the future hydrogeological conditions in the repository near-field. The term near-field refers to the engineered barrier system (EBS) components that are designed to contain the waste and the host rock in the vicinity of the repository.
The numerical simulation of groundwater flow in the near field requires a detailed representation of the repository geometries and allows to deepen the system understanding of the repository from a hydrogeological perspective, focusing on the effects of barrier degradation and repository closure alternatives on the groundwater flow through the repository. Knowledge gained allows for the evaluation of proposed engineering solutions with increased confidence.
Reactive transport modelling (RTM) couples complex chemical systems with groundwater flow and solute transport processes. RTM can help to explain what is behind many of the naturally occurring processes in geosciences. This is, numerically speaking, one of the most challenging problems of nowadays and one which is receiving more scientific attention due to the importance of the answers it could provide.
Within Amphos21 we have a large expertise in reactive transport simulations. Advanced chemical and geochemical characterization, conceptual modelling and expert judgment forms part of the DNA of Amphos 21 since the very beginning of our activities. Furthermore, in the last years we have developed and used state-of-the-art modelling solutions, ahead of the current commercial market. Some of the tools we offer to our clients are based on open source software (e.g., PFlotran) and others are developed by Amphos 21 under proprietary licenses (e.g., Comsol-Phreeqc).
Multiphase flow simulations are a demanded modelling service for reservoir engineering in the oil and gas industry. Multiphase flow is also the key process in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) into deep geological formations.
Amphos 21 is actively involved in several European R&D projects related to scientific understanding, risk assessment and public perception of CCS. Within this framework, Amphos 21 has developed his own modelling technology for multiphase flow that can be coupled with geochemical and geomechanical simulations.
Geoenergy is a mature technology with huge advantages ready to be implemented in many potential sites. Amphos21 provides advanced modelling tools for the design and implementation of geothermal plants, predicting the energy efficiency but also the effects on soil mechanics and water geochemistry.
Heap leaching modelling
Heap leaching has been a common practice in the mining industry during the last 500 years. It is defined as a mineral processing technology where large piles of crushed Run-of–Mine (ROM) rock are leached with different chemical solutions to extract the valuable minerals.
Amphos21 has developped its own advanced tool for simulating mechanical deformation, unsaturated flow and chemistry in a single model during the operation and construction of a heap leach pad. The tool allows the coupling of the different physics and can provide useful guidance for engineers and metallurgists sush as the mechanical stability of the piles and the metal recovery efficiency.