Oil Fragmentation, Interfacial Surface Transport and Flow Structure Maps for Two-Phase Flow in Model Pore Networks. Predictions Based on Extensive, DeProF Model Simulations
Department of Civil, Survey and GIS Engineering, TEI Athens,
12210 - Greece
* Corresponding author e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 25 September 2017
In general, macroscopic two-phase flows in porous media form mixtures of connected- and disconnected-oil flows. The latter are classified as oil ganglion dynamics and drop traffic flow, depending on the characteristic size of the constituent fluidic elements of the non-wetting phase, namely, ganglia and droplets. These flow modes have been systematically observed during flow within model pore networks as well as real porous media. Depending on the flow conditions and on the physicochemical, size and network configuration of the system (fluids and porous medium), these flow modes occupy different volume fractions of the pore network. Extensive simulations implementing the DeProF mechanistic model for steady-state, one-dimensional, immiscible two-phase flow in typical 3D model pore networks have been carried out to derive maps describing the dependence of the flow structure on capillary number, Ca, and flow rate ratio, r. The model is based on the concept of decomposition into prototype flows. Implementation of the DeProF algorithm, predicts key bulk and interfacial physical quantities, fully describing the interstitial flow structure: ganglion size and ganglion velocity distributions, fractions of mobilized/stranded oil, specific surface area of oil/water interfaces, velocity and volume fractions of mobilized and stranded interfaces, oil fragmentation, etc. The simulations span 5 orders of magnitude in Ca and r. Systems with various viscosity ratios and intermediate wettability have been examined. Flow of the non-wetting phase in disconnected form is significant and in certain cases of flow conditions the dominant flow mode. Systematic flow structure mutations with changing flow conditions have been identified. Some of them surface-up on the macroscopic scale and can be measured e.g. the reduced pressure gradient. Other remain in latency within the interstitial flow structure e.g. the volume fractions of − or fractional flows of oil through − connected-disconnected flows. Deeper within the disconnected-oil flow, the mutations between ganglion dynamics and drop traffic flow prevail. Mutations shift and/or become pronounced with viscosity disparity. They are more evident over variables describing the interstitial transport properties of process than variables describing volume fractions. Τhis characteristic behavior is attributed to the interstitial balance between capillarity and bulk viscosity.
© M.S. Valavanides, published by IFP Energies nouvelles, 2018
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