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Title: Three dimensional investigations of a porous media micro-model
Author: Harris, R. J.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2006
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Many of the fundamental fluid flow processes occurring in oil recovery are poorly understood. The work in this dissertation investigates both miscible and immiscible displacements in model porous media at both the meso- and pore-scale, in order to better understand these processes. To this end, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) has been used to image, at the pore-scale, the displacement of a hydrocarbon by both a Newtonian and non-Newtonian aqueous solution in 3D in a fully refractive index matched system, within a bespoke micro-model. CLSM has also provided 3D reconstruction of a packing of ballotini that was subsequently used in lattice Boltzmann (LB) simulations. Pulsed field gradient nuclear magnetic resonance (PFG NMR) has been used to acquire displacement distributions (propagators) of both Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids flowing through packed ballotini either 100 or 500 μm in diameter in a cylindrical Perspex cell, in order to investigate the effects of complex rheology on dispersion in a model porous medium. The differences between the distributions are quantified using comparisons of the full distributions and a cumulant analysis. The immiscible displacement of hydrocarbons in a model porous medium of 100 μm diameter packed glass ballotini by injected water is monitored using MRI to investigate the effects of different physical characteristics (interfacial tension, density and wettability) of the fluids. Displacement distributions of water flowing through a packing of glass ballotini, containing trapped decane blobs have been acquired in both a cylindrical cell and the micro-model. LB simulations, in conjunction with a directed random-walk algorithm have been used to simulate the displacement distributions (propagators) obtained experimentally at all stages in the project. LB simulations have also been used to show the effect of channel aspect ratio on flow through simulation masks, to investigate the applicability of 2D simulations to inherently 3D systems.  The effects of spin relaxation of fluid molecules, due to contact with a solid surface, as experienced in NMR experiments has also been investigated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available