Effects of Pore-Scale Disorder on Fluid Displacement in Partially-Wettable Porous Media

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Abstract

We present a systematic, quantitative assessment of the impact of pore size disorder and its interplay with flow rates and wettability on immiscible displacement of a viscous fluid. Pore-scale simulations and micromodel experiments show that reducing disorder increases the displacement efficiency and compactness, minimizing the fluid-fluid interfacial area, through (i) trapping at low rates and (ii) viscous fingering at high rates. Increasing the wetting angle suppresses both trapping and fingering, hence reducing the sensitivity of the displacement to the underlying disorder. A modified capillary number Ca* that includes the impact of disorder λ on viscous forces (through pore connectivity) is direct related to λ, in par with previous works. Our findings bear important consequences on sweep efficiency and fluid mixing and reactions, which are key in applications such as microfluidics to carbon geosequestration, energy recovery, and soil aeration and remediation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number36221
JournalScientific Reports
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2016

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porous medium
fingering
fluid
trapping
wettability
wetting
aeration
connectivity
remediation
effect
carbon
simulation
rate
soil
experiment

Bibliographical note

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ CC-BY

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Effects of Pore-Scale Disorder on Fluid Displacement in Partially-Wettable Porous Media. / Holtzman, R.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 6, 36221, 26.10.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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