Impact of grain roughness on residual nonwetting phase cluster size distribution in packed columns of uniform spheres

Yukie Tanino* (Corresponding Author), Anelechi Ibekwe, Dubravka Pokrajac

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We imaged the pore-scale distribution of air and water within packed columns of glass spheres of different textures using x-ray microcomputed tomography after primary drainage and after secondary imbibition. Postimbibition residual air saturation increases with roughness size. Clusters larger than a critical size of about 15 to 40 pores are distributed according to a power law, with exponents ranging from τ=2.29±0.04 to 3.00±0.13 and displaying a weak negative correlation with roughness size. The largest cluster constitutes 7 to 20% of the total residual gas saturation, with no clear correlation with roughness size. These results imply that activities that enhance grain roughness by, e.g., creating acidic conditions in the subsurface, will promote capillary trapping of nonwetting phases under capillary-dominated conditions. Enhanced trapping, in turn, may be desirable in some engineering applications such as geological CO2 storage, but detrimental to others such as groundwater remediation and hydrocarbon recovery.
Original languageEnglish
Article number013109
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Review. E, Statistical, Nonlinear and Soft Matter Physics
Volume102
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of grain roughness on residual nonwetting phase cluster size distribution in packed columns of uniform spheres'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Profiles

    Cite this