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Title: Simulation of pore-scale flow using finite element-methods
Author: Akanji, Lateef Temitope
ISNI:       0000 0004 2688 3075
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2010
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I present a new finite element (FE) simulation method to simulate pore-scale flow. Within the pore-space, I solve a simplified form of the incompressible Navier-Stoke’s equation, yielding the velocity field in a two-step solution approach. First, Poisson’s equation is solved with homogeneous boundary conditions, and then the pore pressure is computed and the velocity field obtained for no slip conditions at the grain boundaries. From the computed velocity field I estimate the effective permeability of porous media samples characterized by thin section micrographs, micro-CT scans and synthetically generated grain packings. This two-step process is much simpler than solving the full Navier Stokes equation and therefore provides the opportunity to study pore geometries with hundreds of thousands of pores in a computationally more cost effective manner than solving the full Navier-Stoke’s equation. My numerical model is verified with an analytical solution and validated on samples whose permeabilities and porosities had been measured in laboratory experiments (Akanji and Matthai, 2010). Comparisons were also made with Stokes solver, published experimental, approximate and exact permeability data. Starting with a numerically constructed synthetic grain packings, I also investigated the extent to which the details of pore micro-structure affect the hydraulic permeability (Garcia et al., 2009). I then estimate the hydraulic anisotropy of unconsolidated granular packings. With the future aim to simulate multiphase flow within the pore-space, I also compute the radii and derive capillary pressure from the Young-Laplace equation (Akanji and Matthai,2010)
Supervisor: Blunt, Martin Sponsor: Petroleum Technology Development Funds (PTDF) Nigeria ; CMWR-CUAHSI
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral