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Improved Method for Measuring the Permeability of Nanoporous Material and Its Application to Shale Matrix with Ultra-Low Permeability

1,2,3, 1,2,3, 1, 1, 1,2,3 and 1,2,3,*
1
Department of Energy and Power Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2
Tsinghua University–University of Waterloo Joint Research Center for Micro/Nano Energy and Environment Technology, Beijing 100084, China
3
Key Laboratory for Thermal Science and Power Engineering of Ministry of Education, Beijing 100084, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2019, 12(9), 1567; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12091567
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 8 May 2019 / Accepted: 9 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Materials for Clean Energy and Environment)
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Abstract

Nanoporous materials have a wide range of applications in clean energy and environmental research. The permeability of nanoporous materials is low, which affects the fluid transport behavior inside the nanopores and thus also affects the performance of technologies based on such materials. For example, during the development of shale gas resources, the permeability of the shale matrix is normally lower than 10−3 mD and has an important influence on rock parameters. It is challenging to measure small pressure changes accurately under high pressure. Although the pressure decay method provides an effective means for the measurement of low permeability, most apparatuses and experiments have difficulty measuring permeability in high pressure conditions over 1.38 MPa. Here, we propose an improved experimental method for the measurement of low permeability. To overcome the challenge of measuring small changes in pressure at high pressure, a pressure difference sensor is used. By improving the constant temperature accuracy and reducing the helium leakage rate, we measure shale matrix permeabilities ranging from 0.05 to 2 nD at pore pressures of up to 8 MPa, with good repeatability and sample mass irrelevance. The results show that porosity, pore pressure, and moisture conditions influence the matrix permeability. The permeability of moist shale is lower than that of dry shale, since water blocks some of the nanopores. View Full-Text
Keywords: shale; permeability measurement; pressure decay method shale; permeability measurement; pressure decay method
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Lu, T.; Xu, R.; Zhou, B.; Wang, Y.; Zhang, F.; Jiang, P. Improved Method for Measuring the Permeability of Nanoporous Material and Its Application to Shale Matrix with Ultra-Low Permeability. Materials 2019, 12, 1567.

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