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New type of pore-snap-off and displacement correlations in imbibition

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Title: New type of pore-snap-off and displacement correlations in imbibition
Authors: Singh, K
Bultreys, T
Raeini, AQ
Shams, M
Blunt, MJ
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: HYPOTHESIS: Imbibition of a fluid into a porous material involves the invasion of a wetting fluid in the pore space through piston-like displacement, film and corner flow, snap-off and pore bypassing. These processes have been studied extensively in two-dimensional (2D) porous systems; however, their relevance to three-dimensional (3D) natural porous media is poorly understood. Here, we investigate these pore-scale processes in a natural rock sample using time-resolved 3D (i.e., four-dimensional or 4D) X-ray imaging. EXPERIMENTS: We performed a capillary-controlled drainage-imbibition experiment on an initially brine-saturated carbonate rock sample. The sample was imaged continuously during imbibition using 4D X-ray imaging to visualize and analyze fluid displacement and snap-off processes at the pore-scale. FINDINGS: We discover a new type of snap-off that occurs in pores, resulting in the entrapment of a small portion of the non-wetting phase in pore corners. This contrasts with previously-observed snap-off in throats which traps the non-wetting phase in pore centers. We relate the new type of pore-snap-off to the pinning of fluid-fluid interfaces at rough surfaces, creating contact angles close to 90°. Subsequently, we provide correlations for displacement events as a function of pore-throat geometry. Our findings indicate that having a small throat does not necessarily favor snap-off: the key criterion is the throat radius in relation to the pore radius involved in a displacement event, captured by the aspect ratio.
Issue Date: 1-Mar-2022
Date of Acceptance: 19-Nov-2021
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/93108
DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2021.11.109
ISSN: 0021-9797
Publisher: Elsevier
Start Page: 384
End Page: 392
Journal / Book Title: Journal of Colloid and Interface Science
Volume: 609
Copyright Statement: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Sponsor/Funder: Qatar Petroleum
Funder's Grant Number: N/A
Keywords: 4D X-ray imaging
multiphase flow
porous media
4D X-ray imaging
multiphase flow
porous media
02 Physical Sciences
03 Chemical Sciences
09 Engineering
Chemical Physics
Publication Status: Published
Conference Place: United States
Online Publication Date: 2021-11-27
Appears in Collections:Earth Science and Engineering
Faculty of Engineering

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