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Title: Experimental study on nonmonotonicity of capillary desaturation curves in a 2-D pore-network

Immiscible displacement in a porous medium is important in many applications such as soil remediation and enhanced oil recovery. When gravitational forces are negligible, two-phase immiscible displacement at the pore level is controlled by capillary and viscous forces whose relative importance is quantified through the dimensionless capillary number Ca and the viscosity ratio M between liquid phases. Depending on the values of Ca and M, capillary fingering, viscous fingering, or stable displacement may be observed resulting in a variety of patterns affecting the phase entrapment. The Capillary Desaturation Curve (CDC), which represents the relationship between the residual oils saturation and Ca, is an important relation to describe the phase entrapment at a given Ca. In the present study, we investigate the CDC as influenced by the viscosity ratio. A comprehensive series of experiments using a high-resolution microscope and state-of-the-art micromodels were conducted. The CDCs were calculated and the effects of Ca and M on phase entrapments were quantified. The results show that CDCs are not necessarily monotonic for all M.
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  1. Univ. of Manchester (United Kingdom)
  2. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1944–7973; 44394; KP1704020
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Water Resources Research, 51(10):8517-8528; Journal Volume: 51; Journal Issue: 10
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
pore-network; capillary desaturation curve; multiphase flow; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory