Development of a numerical workflow based on <i>μ</i>-CT imaging for the determination of capillary pressure–saturation-specific interfacial area relationship in 2-phase flow pore-scale porous-media systems: a case study on Heletz sandstone

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Date
2016
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Göttingen : Copernicus Publ.
Abstract

In this case study, we present the implementation of a finite element method (FEM)-based numerical pore-scale model that is able to track and quantify the propagating fluid–fluid interfacial area on highly complex micro-computed tomography (μ-CT)-obtained geometries. Special focus is drawn to the relationship between reservoir-specific capillary pressure (pc), wetting phase saturation (Sw) and interfacial area (awn). The basis of this approach is high-resolution μ-CT images representing the geometrical characteristics of a georeservoir sample. The successfully validated 2-phase flow model is based on the Navier–Stokes equations, including the surface tension force, in order to consider capillary effects for the computation of flow and the phase-field method for the emulation of a sharp fluid–fluid interface.

In combination with specialized software packages, a complex high-resolution modelling domain can be obtained. A numerical workflow based on representative elementary volume (REV)-scale pore-size distributions is introduced. This workflow aims at the successive modification of model and model set-up for simulating, such as a type of 2-phase problem on asymmetric μ-CT-based model domains. The geometrical complexity is gradually increased, starting from idealized pore geometries until complex μ-CT-based pore network domains, whereas all domains represent geostatistics of the REV-scale core sample pore-size distribution. Finally, the model can be applied to a complex μ-CT-based model domain and the pc–Sw–awn relationship can be computed.

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Keywords
Capillarity, Capillary flow, Capillary tubes, Complex networks, Computerized tomography, Geometry, Mechanical permeability, Navier Stokes equations, Numerical methods, Phase transitions, Pore size, Porous materials, Size distribution, Two phase flow, Fluid fluid interfaces, Fluid interfacial area, Geometrical characteristics, Geometrical complexity, Microcomputed tomography, Representative elementary volume, Specific interfacial area, Surface tension force, Finite element method, capillary pressure, computer simulation, finite element method, Navier-Stokes equations, numerical model, pore space, porous medium, sandstone, saturation, size distribution, two phase flow
Citation
Citation
Peche, A., Halisch, M., Bogdan Tatomir, A., & Sauter, M. (2016). Development of a numerical workflow based on <i>μ</i>-CT imaging for the determination of capillary pressure–saturation-specific interfacial area relationship in 2-phase flow pore-scale porous-media systems: a case study on Heletz sandstone (Version publishedVersion, Vol. 7). Version publishedVersion, Vol. 7. Göttingen : Copernicus Publ. https://doi.org//10.5194/se-7-727-2016