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Three-Dimensional Interaction of Viscous Fingering and Gravitational Segregation in Porous Media

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan
2
Department of Energetic Engineering and Fluid Mechanics, Industrial Engineering School, Polytechnic University of Madrid, 28006 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Fluids 2019, 4(3), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/fluids4030130
Received: 22 June 2019 / Revised: 8 July 2019 / Accepted: 10 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Convective Instability in Porous Media, Volume II)
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PDF [2608 KB, uploaded 12 July 2019]
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Abstract

Viscous fingering is fluid dynamics instability induced on the displacement front when a less viscous fluid (LVF) displaces a more viscous fluid (MVF), thereby reducing the displacement efficiency. The displacement of a denser fluid by a less dense fluid produces a gravitational tongue. This gravitational segregation also reduces the displacement efficiency. In this study, the three-dimensional structure of the fingering pattern at the viscous fingering to gravitational segregation boundary was examined using X-ray microtomography on a packed bed of particles. At low gravity numbers, viscous fingering resembled that without gravity characterized by nonlinear interaction including tip-splitting, shielding, and coalescence. At intermediate gravity numbers, viscous fingering is associated with the gravitational tongue due to segregation. At high gravity numbers, a clear gravitational tongue penetrates from the inlet to the outlet. Consequently, the concentration near the injection point decreases and exhibits a flat profile in the flow direction. The displacement efficiency decreases with increasing gravity number, with the highest value achieved without gravity but depends on many factors, including the viscosity ratio and Péclet number. View Full-Text
Keywords: gravitational segregation; viscous fingering; miscible; X-ray computer tomography (CT); gravity number; displacement efficiency; gravitational tongue gravitational segregation; viscous fingering; miscible; X-ray computer tomography (CT); gravity number; displacement efficiency; gravitational tongue
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Suekane, T.; Koe, T.; Barbancho, P.M. Three-Dimensional Interaction of Viscous Fingering and Gravitational Segregation in Porous Media. Fluids 2019, 4, 130.

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