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Title: The Effect of Wettability Heterogeneity on Relative Permeability of Two-Phase Flow in Porous Media: A Lattice Boltzmann Study

Abstract

Relative permeability is a critical parameter characterizing multiphase flow in porous media and it is strongly dependent on the wettability. In many situations, the porous media are nonuniformly wet. In this study, to investigate the effect of wettability heterogeneity on relative permeability of two-phase flow in porous media, a multi-relaxation-time color-gradient lattice Boltzmann model is adopted to simulate oil/water two-phase flow in porous media with different oil-wet solid fractions. For the water phase, when the water saturation is high, the relative permeability of water increases with the increase of oil-wet solid fraction under a constant water saturation. However, as the water saturation decreases to an intermediate value (about 0.4–0.7), the relative permeability of water in fractionally wet porous media could be lower than that in purely water-wet porous media, meaning additional flow resistance exists in the fractionally wet porous media. For the oil phase, similar phenomenon is observed. This phenomenon is mainly caused by the wettability-related microscale fluid distribution. According to both our simulation results and theoretical analysis, it is found that the relative permeability of two-phase flow in porous media is strongly related to three parameters: the fluid saturation, the specific interfacial length of fluid, and the fluid tortuositymore » in the flow direction. Lastly, the relationship between the relative permeability and these parameters under different capillary numbers is explored in this paper.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [3]
  1. China University of Petroleum, Qingdao (China); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  3. China University of Petroleum, Qingdao (China)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1422921
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1422841
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-17-25407
Journal ID: ISSN 0043-1397
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Water Resources Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 54; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 0043-1397
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; Earth Sciences

Citation Formats

Zhao, Jianlin, Kang, Qinjun, Yao, Jun, Viswanathan, Hari S., Pawar, Rajesh J., Zhang, Lei, and Sun, Hai. The Effect of Wettability Heterogeneity on Relative Permeability of Two-Phase Flow in Porous Media: A Lattice Boltzmann Study. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1002/2017WR021443.
Zhao, Jianlin, Kang, Qinjun, Yao, Jun, Viswanathan, Hari S., Pawar, Rajesh J., Zhang, Lei, & Sun, Hai. The Effect of Wettability Heterogeneity on Relative Permeability of Two-Phase Flow in Porous Media: A Lattice Boltzmann Study. United States. doi:10.1002/2017WR021443.
Zhao, Jianlin, Kang, Qinjun, Yao, Jun, Viswanathan, Hari S., Pawar, Rajesh J., Zhang, Lei, and Sun, Hai. Tue . "The Effect of Wettability Heterogeneity on Relative Permeability of Two-Phase Flow in Porous Media: A Lattice Boltzmann Study". United States. doi:10.1002/2017WR021443. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1422921.
@article{osti_1422921,
title = {The Effect of Wettability Heterogeneity on Relative Permeability of Two-Phase Flow in Porous Media: A Lattice Boltzmann Study},
author = {Zhao, Jianlin and Kang, Qinjun and Yao, Jun and Viswanathan, Hari S. and Pawar, Rajesh J. and Zhang, Lei and Sun, Hai},
abstractNote = {Relative permeability is a critical parameter characterizing multiphase flow in porous media and it is strongly dependent on the wettability. In many situations, the porous media are nonuniformly wet. In this study, to investigate the effect of wettability heterogeneity on relative permeability of two-phase flow in porous media, a multi-relaxation-time color-gradient lattice Boltzmann model is adopted to simulate oil/water two-phase flow in porous media with different oil-wet solid fractions. For the water phase, when the water saturation is high, the relative permeability of water increases with the increase of oil-wet solid fraction under a constant water saturation. However, as the water saturation decreases to an intermediate value (about 0.4–0.7), the relative permeability of water in fractionally wet porous media could be lower than that in purely water-wet porous media, meaning additional flow resistance exists in the fractionally wet porous media. For the oil phase, similar phenomenon is observed. This phenomenon is mainly caused by the wettability-related microscale fluid distribution. According to both our simulation results and theoretical analysis, it is found that the relative permeability of two-phase flow in porous media is strongly related to three parameters: the fluid saturation, the specific interfacial length of fluid, and the fluid tortuosity in the flow direction. Lastly, the relationship between the relative permeability and these parameters under different capillary numbers is explored in this paper.},
doi = {10.1002/2017WR021443},
journal = {Water Resources Research},
number = 2,
volume = 54,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {2}
}

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