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Title: Wettability control on multiphase flow in patterned microfluidics

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Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0003907; FE0009738
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 113; Journal Issue: 37; Related Information: CHORUS Timestamp: 2017-06-24 17:20:24; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Zhao, Benzhong, MacMinn, Christopher W., and Juanes, Ruben. Wettability control on multiphase flow in patterned microfluidics. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1073/pnas.1603387113.
Zhao, Benzhong, MacMinn, Christopher W., & Juanes, Ruben. Wettability control on multiphase flow in patterned microfluidics. United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1603387113.
Zhao, Benzhong, MacMinn, Christopher W., and Juanes, Ruben. 2016. "Wettability control on multiphase flow in patterned microfluidics". United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1603387113.
title = {Wettability control on multiphase flow in patterned microfluidics},
author = {Zhao, Benzhong and MacMinn, Christopher W. and Juanes, Ruben},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1073/pnas.1603387113},
journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
number = 37,
volume = 113,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 8

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1073/pnas.1603387113

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 24works
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  • The pore-scale flow mechanisms and the relative permeabilities during steady-state two-phase flow in a glass model pore network were studied experimentally for the case of strong wettability ({theta}{sub e} < 10{degree}). The capillary number, the fluid flow rate ratio, and the viscosity ratio were changed systematically, while all other parameters were kept constant. The flow mechanisms at the microscopic and macroscopic scales were examined visually and videorecorded. As in the case of intermediate wettability, the authors observed that over a broad range of values of the system parameters the pore-scale flow mechanisms include many strongly nonlinear phenomena, specifically, breakup, coalescence,more » stranding, mobilization, etc. Such microscopically irreversible phenomena cause macroscopic nonlinearity and irreversibility, which make an Onsager-type theory inappropriate for this class of flows. The main effects of strong wettability are that it changes the domains of the system parameter values where the various flow regimes are observed and increases the relative permeability values, whereas the qualitative aspects of the flow remain the same. Currently, a new true-to-mechanism model is being developed for this class of flows.« less
  • The authors study the effects of rock wettability on the flow of oil, water, and gas in hydrocarbon reservoirs. The three-phase fluid configurations and displacement processes in a pore of polygonal cross section are described. Initially water-filled, water-wet pores are invaded by oil, representing primary oil migration. Where oil directly contacts the solid surface, the surface will change its wettability. Water injection followed by gas injection for any possible combination of oil/water, gas/water, and gas/oil contact angles was considered. The authors find the capillary pressures for the different displacement processes and determine the circumstances under which the various fluid configurationsmore » are stable. Using empirical expressions for the phase conductances, three-phase relative permeabilities for a bundle of pores of different sizes with constant triangular cross sections were measured. For gas injection, they show that the oil remains connected in wetting layers down to low oil saturation with a characteristic layer drainage regime, which gives very high ultimate oil recoveries. The only exceptions are nonspreading oils in water-wet media and large gas/oil contact angles. The relative permeability of the phase of intermediate wettability depends on two saturations, while the relative permeabilities of the other phases are functions of their own saturation only. In water-wet media, oil is the intermediate-wet phase. In weakly oil-wet media, water is intermediate-wet. In strongly oil-wet media, gas is intermediate-wet. This finding contradicts the assumptions made in many empirical models that gas is always the most nonwetting phase and that its relative permeability depends only on the gas saturation. This work indicates appropriate functional dependencies for three-phase relative permeabilities, and represents a necessary first step toward the development of a predictive pore-scale model that accounts for the effects of wettability in three-phase flow.« less