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Title: Transport phenomena modelled on pore-space images
Author: Mostaghimi, Peyman
ISNI:       0000 0004 2711 8316
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2012
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Fluid flow and dispersion of solute particles are modelled directly on three-dimensional pore-space images of rock samples. To simulate flow, the finite-difference method combined with a standard predictor-corrector procedure to decouple pressure and velocity is applied. We study the permeability and the size of representative elementary volume (REV) of a range of consolidated and unconsolidated porous media. We demonstrate that the flow-based REV is larger than for geometry-based properties such as porosity and specific surface area, since it needs to account for the tortuosity and connectedness of the flow paths. For solute transport we apply a novel streamline-based algorithm that is similar to the Pollock algorithm common in field-scale reservoir simulation, but which employs a semi-analytic formulation near solid boundaries to capture, with sub-grid resolution, the variation in velocity near the grains. A random walk method is used to account for mixing by molecular diffusion. The algorithm is validated by comparison with published results for Taylor-Aris dispersion in a single capillary with a square cross-section. We then accurately predict experimental data available in the literature for longitudinal dispersion coefficient as a function of Peclet number. We study a number of sandpack, sandstone and carbonate samples for which we have good quality three-dimensional images. There is a power-law dependence of dispersion coefficient as a function of Peclet number, with an exponent that is a function of pore-space heterogeneity: the carbonates we study have a distinctly different behaviour than sandstones and sandpacks. This is related to the differences in transit time probabilities of solute particles travelling between two neighbouring voxels. We then study the non-Fickian behaviour of solute transport in porous media by modelling the NMR propagators and the time-dependent dispersion coefficients of different rock types. The behaviour is explained using Continuous Time Random Walk (CTRW) theory: transport is qualitatively different for the complex porous media such as carbonates compared to the sandstone or sandpack, with long tailing and an almost immobile peak concentration. We discuss extensions of the work to reactive transport and the simulation of transport in finely-resolved images with billions of voxels.
Supervisor: Bijeljic, Branko ; Blunt, Martin Sponsor: Imperial College Consortium on Pore Scale Modelling (BG, BP, JOGMEC, Shell, Statoil and Total)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral