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Preferential Paths of Air-water Two-phase Flow in Porous Structures with Special Consideration of Channel Thickness Effects.

  • Author(s): Liu, Jinhui
  • Ju, Yang
  • Zhang, Yingqi
  • Gong, Wenbo
  • et al.
Abstract

Accurate understanding and predicting the flow paths of immiscible two-phase flow in rocky porous structures are of critical importance for the evaluation of oil or gas recovery and prediction of rock slides caused by gas-liquid flow. A 2D phase field model was established for compressible air-water two-phase flow in heterogenous porous structures. The dynamic characteristics of air-water two-phase interface and preferential paths in porous structures were simulated. The factors affecting the path selection of two-phase flow in porous structures were analyzed. Transparent physical models of complex porous structures were prepared using 3D printing technology. Tracer dye was used to visually observe the flow characteristics and path selection in air-water two-phase displacement experiments. The experimental observations agree with the numerical results used to validate the accuracy of phase field model. The effects of channel thickness on the air-water two-phase flow behavior and paths in porous structures were also analyzed. The results indicate that thick channels can induce secondary air flow paths due to the increase in flow resistance; consequently, the flow distribution is different from that in narrow channels. This study provides a new reference for quantitatively analyzing multi-phase flow and predicting the preferential paths of immiscible fluids in porous structures.

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