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Title: Wettability and Flow Rate Impacts on Immiscible Displacement: A Theoretical Model

Abstract

When a more viscous fluid displaces a less viscous one in porous media, viscous pressure drop stabilizes the displacement front against capillary pressure fluctuation. For this favorable viscous ratio conditions, previous studies focused on the front instability under slow flow conditions but did not address competing effects of wettability and flow rate. Here we study how this competition controls displacement patterns. We propose a theoretical model that describes the crossover from fingering to stable flow as a function of invading fluid contact angle $θ$ and capillary number Ca. The phase diagram predicted by the model shows that decreasing $θ$ stabilizes the displacement for $θ$≥45° and the critical contact angle $$θ_c$$ increases with Ca. The boundary between corner flow and cooperative filling for $θ$ < 45° is also described. Finally, this work extends the classic phase diagram and has potential applications in predicting CO 2 capillary trapping and manipulating wettability to enhance gas/oil displacement efficiency.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. China Central Normal Univ., Wuhan (China). State Key Lab. of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Energy Geosciences Division
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1561888
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 45; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; wettability; flow rate; phase diagram; pore scale; fingering

Citation Formats

Hu, Ran, Wan, Jiamin, Yang, Zhibing, Chen, Yi‐Feng, and Tokunaga, Tetsu. Wettability and Flow Rate Impacts on Immiscible Displacement: A Theoretical Model. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1002/2017GL076600.
Hu, Ran, Wan, Jiamin, Yang, Zhibing, Chen, Yi‐Feng, & Tokunaga, Tetsu. Wettability and Flow Rate Impacts on Immiscible Displacement: A Theoretical Model. United States. doi:10.1002/2017GL076600.
Hu, Ran, Wan, Jiamin, Yang, Zhibing, Chen, Yi‐Feng, and Tokunaga, Tetsu. Tue . "Wettability and Flow Rate Impacts on Immiscible Displacement: A Theoretical Model". United States. doi:10.1002/2017GL076600. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1561888.
@article{osti_1561888,
title = {Wettability and Flow Rate Impacts on Immiscible Displacement: A Theoretical Model},
author = {Hu, Ran and Wan, Jiamin and Yang, Zhibing and Chen, Yi‐Feng and Tokunaga, Tetsu},
abstractNote = {When a more viscous fluid displaces a less viscous one in porous media, viscous pressure drop stabilizes the displacement front against capillary pressure fluctuation. For this favorable viscous ratio conditions, previous studies focused on the front instability under slow flow conditions but did not address competing effects of wettability and flow rate. Here we study how this competition controls displacement patterns. We propose a theoretical model that describes the crossover from fingering to stable flow as a function of invading fluid contact angle $θ$ and capillary number Ca. The phase diagram predicted by the model shows that decreasing $θ$ stabilizes the displacement for $θ$≥45° and the critical contact angle $θ_c$ increases with Ca. The boundary between corner flow and cooperative filling for $θ$ < 45° is also described. Finally, this work extends the classic phase diagram and has potential applications in predicting CO2 capillary trapping and manipulating wettability to enhance gas/oil displacement efficiency.},
doi = {10.1002/2017GL076600},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = 7,
volume = 45,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {2}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 11 works
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Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Evolution of the fluid-fluid displacement fronts with time for the imbibition (a, d), neutral (b, e), and drainage (c, f ) processes under the intermediate (a–c) and lowest (d–f ) flow rate conditions. These patterns (a–f ) are characterized by the evolution of (g) the normalized fluid-fluid interfacemore » length lnw and (h) the normalized displacement front x$^{∗}_{tip}$ with the invading fluid saturation Sw, and (i) the characteristic displacement front velocity $^{∗}_{tip}$ as a function of 𝜃. Also shown are the enlarged images (d’, f’) of the selected regions from (d) and (f ). The water menisci advance at a time interval of 0.1 s during which 0.01 pore volume of brine is injected into the micromodel. The arrow indicates the direction of meniscus movement. The burst mode for the meniscus motion at the pore scale is given in (j).« less

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    Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.