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Title: Transport and Retention of Concentrated Oil-in-Water Emulsions in Porous Media

Abstract

Oil-in-water emulsions are routinely used in subsurface remediation. In these applications, high oil loadings present a challenge to remedial design as mechanistic insights into transport and retention of concentrated emulsions is limited. In this paper, column experiments were designed to examine emulsion transport and retention over a range of input concentrations (1.3–23% wt). Droplet breakthrough and retention data from low concentration experiments were successfully described by existing particle transport models. These models, however, failed to capture droplet transport in more concentrated systems. At high oil fraction, breakthrough curves exhibited an early fall at the end of the emulsion pulse and extending tailing. Irrespective of input concentration, all retention profiles displayed hyper-exponential behavior. Here, we extended existing model formulations to include the additional mixing processes occurring when at high oil concentrations—with focus on the influence of deposited mass and viscous instabilities. The resulting model was parametrized with low concentration data and can successfully predict concentrated emulsion transport and retention. Finally, the role of retained mass and viscous instabilities on mixing conditions can also be applied more broadly to systems with temporal or spatially variant water saturation or when viscosity contrasts exist between fluids.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3];  [3]
  1. Tufts Univ., Medford, MA (United States). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Tufts Univ., Medford, MA (United States). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States). Dept. of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
  3. Tufts Univ., Medford, MA (United States). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Tufts Univ., Medford, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1468160
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725; CMMI-1000714
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environmental Science and Technology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 52; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-936X
Publisher:
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Muller, Katherine A., Esfahani, Somayeh G., Chapra, Steven C., and Ramsburg, C. Andrew. Transport and Retention of Concentrated Oil-in-Water Emulsions in Porous Media. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1021/acs.est.7b06012.
Muller, Katherine A., Esfahani, Somayeh G., Chapra, Steven C., & Ramsburg, C. Andrew. Transport and Retention of Concentrated Oil-in-Water Emulsions in Porous Media. United States. doi:10.1021/acs.est.7b06012.
Muller, Katherine A., Esfahani, Somayeh G., Chapra, Steven C., and Ramsburg, C. Andrew. Fri . "Transport and Retention of Concentrated Oil-in-Water Emulsions in Porous Media". United States. doi:10.1021/acs.est.7b06012.
@article{osti_1468160,
title = {Transport and Retention of Concentrated Oil-in-Water Emulsions in Porous Media},
author = {Muller, Katherine A. and Esfahani, Somayeh G. and Chapra, Steven C. and Ramsburg, C. Andrew},
abstractNote = {Oil-in-water emulsions are routinely used in subsurface remediation. In these applications, high oil loadings present a challenge to remedial design as mechanistic insights into transport and retention of concentrated emulsions is limited. In this paper, column experiments were designed to examine emulsion transport and retention over a range of input concentrations (1.3–23% wt). Droplet breakthrough and retention data from low concentration experiments were successfully described by existing particle transport models. These models, however, failed to capture droplet transport in more concentrated systems. At high oil fraction, breakthrough curves exhibited an early fall at the end of the emulsion pulse and extending tailing. Irrespective of input concentration, all retention profiles displayed hyper-exponential behavior. Here, we extended existing model formulations to include the additional mixing processes occurring when at high oil concentrations—with focus on the influence of deposited mass and viscous instabilities. The resulting model was parametrized with low concentration data and can successfully predict concentrated emulsion transport and retention. Finally, the role of retained mass and viscous instabilities on mixing conditions can also be applied more broadly to systems with temporal or spatially variant water saturation or when viscosity contrasts exist between fluids.},
doi = {10.1021/acs.est.7b06012},
journal = {Environmental Science and Technology},
number = 7,
volume = 52,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Mar 09 00:00:00 EST 2018},
month = {Fri Mar 09 00:00:00 EST 2018}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
This content will become publicly available on March 9, 2019
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