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Open AccessArticle

Colloid Transport in a Single Fracture–Matrix System: Gravity Effects, Influence of Colloid Size and Density

1
Department of Energy and Petroleum Engineering, University of Stavanger, 4036 Stavanger, Norway
2
Department of Ocean Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600036, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(11), 1531; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10111531
Received: 5 October 2018 / Revised: 24 October 2018 / Accepted: 24 October 2018 / Published: 27 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Flow, Solute and Heat Transfer in Groundwater)
A numerical model was developed to investigate the influence of gravitational force on the transport of colloids in a single horizontal fracture–matrix system. Along with major transport phenomena, prominence was given to study the mass flux at the fracture–matrix interface, and colloid penetration within the rock matrix. Results suggest that the gravitational force significantly alters and controls the velocity of colloids in the fracture. Further, it was shown that the colloid density and size play a vital part in determining the extent that gravity may influence the transport of colloids in both fracture and rock matrix. The mass flux transfer across the fracture–matrix interface is predominantly dependent on the colloidal size. As large as 80% reduction in penetration of colloids in the rock matrix was observed when the size of the colloid was increased from 50–600 nm. Similarly, the farther the density of colloid from that of the fluid in the fracture (water), then the higher the mitigation of colloids in the fracture and the rock matrix. Finally, a non-dimensional parameter “Rock Saturation Factor” has been presented in the present study, which can offer a straightforward approach for evaluating the extent of penetration of colloids within the rock matrix. View Full-Text
Keywords: fractured media; gravitational force; numerical method; rock penetration; colloid size; colloid transport fractured media; gravitational force; numerical method; rock penetration; colloid size; colloid transport
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bagalkot, N.; Kumar, G.S. Colloid Transport in a Single Fracture–Matrix System: Gravity Effects, Influence of Colloid Size and Density. Water 2018, 10, 1531.

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