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Simulation of Surfactant Oil Recovery Processes and the Role of Phase Behaviour Parameters
Open AccessArticle

An Experimental Investigation of Flow Regimes in Imbibition and Drainage Using a Microfluidic Platform

Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(7), 1390;
Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 6 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhanced Oil Recovery 2019)
Instabilities in immiscible displacement along fluid−fluid displacement fronts in porous media are undesirable in many natural and engineered displacement processes such as geological carbon sequestration and enhanced oil recovery. In this study, a series of immiscible displacement experiments are conducted using a microfluidic platform across a wide range of capillary numbers and viscosity ratios. The microfluidic device features a water-wet porous medium, which is a two-dimensional representation of a Berea sandstone. Data is captured using a high-resolution camera, enabling visualization of the entire domain, while being able to resolve features as small as 10 µm. The study reports a correlation between fractal dimensions of displacement fronts and displacement front patterns in the medium. Results are mapped on a two-dimensional parameter space of log M and log Ca, and stability diagrams proposed in literature for drainage processes are superimposed for comparison. Compared to recent reports in the literature, the results in this work suggest that transition regimes may constitute a slightly larger portion of the overall flow regime diagram. This two-phase immiscible displacement study helps elucidate macroscopic processes at the continuum scale and provides insights relevant to enhanced oil recovery processes and the design of engineered porous media such as exchange columns and membranes. View Full-Text
Keywords: drainage; imbibition; fractal dimension; phase diagram drainage; imbibition; fractal dimension; phase diagram
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MDPI and ACS Style

Guo, F.; Aryana, S.A. An Experimental Investigation of Flow Regimes in Imbibition and Drainage Using a Microfluidic Platform. Energies 2019, 12, 1390.

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