In this study, we examine microscale waterflooding in a randomly close-packed porous medium. Three different porosities were prepared in a microfluidic platform and saturated with silicone oil. Optical video fluorescence microscopy was used to track the water front as it flowed through the porous packed bed. The degree of water saturation was compared to water containing two different types of chemical modifiers, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), with water in the absence of a surfactant used as a control. Image analysis of our video data yielded saturation curves and calculated fractal dimension, which we used to identify how morphology changed the way in which an invading water phase moved through the porous media. An inverse analysis based on the implicit pressure explicit saturation (IMPES) simulation technique used mobility ratio as an adjustable parameter to fit our experimental saturation curves. The results from our inverse analysis combined with our image analysis show that this platform can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of surfactants or polymers as additives for enhancing the transport of water through an oil-saturated porous medium.
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