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Three-Dimensional Imaging of Pore-Scale Water Flooding Phenomena in Water-Wet and Oil-Wet Porous Media

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DOI: 10.4236/jfcmv.2014.22005    3,367 Downloads   5,215 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The penetration of water during water flooding has been observed over many years using several methods. A microfocused X-ray computed tomography scanner can be used to directly observe 3D water flooding in a nondestructive manner. To eliminate the possibility of false images being produced because of X-ray broadening effects, we developed a visualization method by arranging the brightness distribution of all phases involved. Water flooding experiments were conducted using oil-wet and water-wet porous media. The water phase was injected upward into packed glass beads containing an oil phase, and the process was scanned every minute until steady state was reached. Using this scheme, real-time, the water invasion pattern and oil trapping process in clusters of pores and individual pores can be observed clearly. By eliminating false images, the boundary of each phase could be identified with high precision, even in a single pore. Porelevel phenomena, including snap off (which has never before been captured in a real 3D porous medium), piston-like displacement, and the curvature of the interface, were also observed. Direct measurement of the pore throat radius and the contact angle between the wetting and nonwetting phases gave an approximation of the capillary pressure during the piston-like displacement and snap-off processes.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Setiawan, A. , Suekane, T. , Deguchi, Y. and Kusano, K. (2014) Three-Dimensional Imaging of Pore-Scale Water Flooding Phenomena in Water-Wet and Oil-Wet Porous Media. Journal of Flow Control, Measurement & Visualization, 2, 25-31. doi: 10.4236/jfcmv.2014.22005.

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