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EPSRC Reference: GR/S94315/01
Title: Micro-heterogeneity and Temperature Effects on Dynamic Capillary Pressure-Saturation Relationships for Two-phase Flow in Porous Media
Principal Investigator: Das, Dr DB
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
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Department: Engineering Science
Organisation: University of Oxford
Scheme: First Grant Scheme Pre-FEC
Starts: 19 October 2004 Ends: 18 October 2007 Value (£): 111,398
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Assess/Remediate Contamination Multiphase Flow
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
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Summary on Grant Application Form
To design efficient techniques to remediate NAPL (non-aqueous phase liquid) contaminated subsurface and extract oil, one requires the correct description of dynamic and static multiphase flow behaviour in porous media. This involves a number of material-dependent parameters, including relationships among capillary pressure, saturation, and relative permeability (Pc-S-Kr). These relationships are highly nonlinear, and their determination is a difficult task. The task is made particularly difficult due to two effects: micro-heterogeneity's and dynamic effects. The dynamic effect is the dependence of Pc-S relationships on the rate of change of fluid saturation at non-equilibrium flow conditions. When multiphase flow at higher temperature is encountered, these tasks are further complicated by the necessity to relate the dynamics of the system to temperature. The proposed research is a theoretical and experimental study on the effects of micro-scale heterogeneity's and temperature on dynamic Pc-S-Kr relationships. While a large body of research exists on the upscaling of saturated permeability (single phase flow) or static Pc-S-Kr relationships, there is little work done on determining dynamic multiphase flow property's such as Pc-S curves at higher temperature. Providing upscaled theory's of multiphase flow is a scientific challenge that must be met at various fronts. In particular, verification and testing of theory's is crucial to their success. This must be done with the aid of laboratory experiments supplemented by modelling work. The proposed work plans to test if a recent multiphase flow theory, which indicates that conventional static capillary pressure relationships should be generalised to include a capillary damping coefficient, called dynamic coefficient, and the rate of change of saturation, can describe dynamic (non-equlibrium) multiphase flow in micro-heterogeneous domains and at higher temperatures. Subsequently, this will determine whether or not the new multiphase flow theory should be used in the field scale problems, e.g., for designing sustainable soil remediation technology.
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