Numerical study on particle transport and deposition in rough fractures
School of Petroleum Engineering, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao
2 College of New Energy, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266580, China
3 School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
4 Department of Oilfield Exploration & Development, SINOPEC, Beijing 100029, China
Accepted: 3 March 2020
The transport and deposition of particulate materials through fractures is widely involved in environmental engineering and resource development engineering. A 3D Computational Fluid Dynamics-Discrete Element Method (CFD-DEM) coupling method was used to investigate the particle and fluid flow. The Gauss Model was applied to construct the rough surfaces. First, the numerical results were compared with the previous results and reasonable agreements were obtained. Second, the results indicated a novel flow pattern of particles in rough fractures. Then, a comprehensive particle sedimentary analysis indicated that the deposition distance of particles was inversely proportional to the particle size and density ratio. In addition, the particle deposition rates were increased by the mean roughness and there was an uneven sediment distribution impacted by roughness. Reasons for this uneven sediment distribution were analyzed in detail. Moreover, the bridge plugs of particles considering the closure of fractures were simulated as well. A part of particulate materials would be filtered at the inlet due to size effect and the transport distance of entered particles decreased significantly when the particle was large. A critical particle radius (R < 0.27 mm) that can flow through closure fracture in this work was found. This work can provide a clear insight into the migration and deposition characteristics of particles in the rough fractures underground.
© X. Wang et al., published by IFP Energies nouvelles, 2020
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