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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Transport in Porous Media, 2016, Vol.112(1), pp.207-227
    Description: According to experimental observations, capillary trapping is strongly dependent on the roughness of the pore–solid interface. We performed imbibition experiments in the range of capillary numbers ( Ca ) from $$10^{-6}$$ 10 - 6 to $$5\times 10^{-5}$$ 5 × 10 - 5 using 2D-micromodels, which exhibit a rough surface. The microstructure comprises a double-porosity structure with pronounced macropores. The dynamics of precursor thin-film flow and its importance for capillary trapping are studied. The experimental data for thin-film flow advancement show a square-root time dependence. Based on the experimental data, we conducted inverse modeling to investigate the influence of surface roughness on the dynamic contact angle of precursor thin-film flow. Our experimental results show that trapped gas saturation decreases logarithmically with an increasing capillary number. Cluster analysis shows that the morphology and number of trapped clusters change with capillary number. We demonstrate that capillary trapping shows significant differences for vertical flow and horizontal flow. We found that our experimental results agree with theoretical results of percolation theory for $$Ca =10^{-6}$$ C a = 10 - 6 : (i) a universal power-like cluster size distribution, (ii) the linear surface–volume relationship of trapped clusters, and (iii) the existence of the cutoff correlation length for the maximal cluster height. The good agreement is a strong argument that the experimental cluster size distribution is caused by a percolation-like trapping process (ordinary percolation). For the first time, it is demonstrated experimentally that the transition zone model proposed by Wilkinson (Phys Rev A 30:520–531, 1984) can be applied to 2D-micromodels, if bicontinuity is generalized such that it holds for the thin-film water phase and the bulk gas phase.
    Keywords: 2D-micromodel with rough surface ; Precursor thin-film flow ; Snap-off trapping ; Universal power law ; Ordinary bond percolation
    ISSN: 0169-3913
    E-ISSN: 1573-1634
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Vadose Zone Journal, 2015, Vol.14(5), p.0
    Description: We used X-ray computed microtomography to study gas trapping in a fluctuating water table. Our results show that capillary forces control trapping and phase distribution in dynamic capillary fringes. In porous media, the nonwetting phase is trapped on water saturation due to capillary forces acting in a heterogeneous porous structure. Within the capillary fringe, the gas phase is trapped and released along with the fluctuation of the water table, creating a highly active zone for biological transformations and mass transport. We conducted column experiments to observe and quantify the magnitude and structure of the trapped gas phase at the pore scale using computed microtomography. Different grain size distributions of glass beads were used to study the effect of the pore structure on trapping at various capillary numbers. Viscous forces were found to have negligible impact on phase trapping compared with capillary and buoyancy forces. Residual gas saturations ranged from 0.5 to 10%, while residual saturation increased with decreasing grain size. The gas phase was trapped by snap-off in single pores but also in pore clusters, while this single-pore trapping was dominant for grains larger than 1 mm in diameter. Gas surface area was found to increase linearly with increasing gas volume and with decreasing grain size.
    Keywords: Grain Size ; Water Table ; Mass Transport ; Buoyancy ; Pores ; Porous Media ; Particle Size ; Water Table ; Saturation ; Vadose Water ; Fluctuations ; Trapping ; Buoyancy ; Methods and Instruments ; General;
    ISSN: Vadose Zone Journal
    E-ISSN: 1539-1663
    Source: CrossRef
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  • 3
    In: Water Resources Research, November 2015, Vol.51(11), pp.9094-9111
    Description: We study the impact of pore structure and surface roughness on capillary trapping of nonwetting gas phase during imbibition with water for capillary numbers between 10 and 5 × 10, within glass beads, natural sands, glass beads monolayers, and 2‐D micromodels. The materials exhibit different roughness of the pore‐solid interface. We found that glass beads and natural sands, which exhibit nearly the same grain size distribution, pore size distribution, and connectivity, showed a significant difference of the trapped gas phase of about 15%. This difference can be explained by the microstructure of the pore‐solid interface. Based on the visualization of the trapping dynamics within glass beads monolayers and 2‐D micromodels, we could show that bypass trapping controls the trapping process in glass beads monolayers, while snap‐off trapping controls the trapping process in 2‐D micromodels. We conclude that these different trapping processes are the reason for the different trapping efficiency, when comparing glass beads packs with natural sand packs. Moreover, for small capillary numbers of 10, we found that the cluster size distribution of trapped gas clusters of all 2‐D and 3‐D porous media can be described by a universal power law behavior predicted from percolation theory. This cannot be expected a priori for 2‐D porous media, because bicontinuity of the two bulk phases is violated. Obviously, bicontinuity holds for the thin‐film water phase and the bulk gas phase. The snap‐off trapping process leads to ordinary bond percolation in front of the advancing bulk water phase and is the reason for the observed universal power law behavior in 2‐D micromodels with rough surfaces. Surface roughness controls capillary trapping efficiency The transition‐zone model can be applied to 2‐D micromodels with rough surfaces The 2‐D and 3‐D porous media belong all to the same universality class
    Keywords: Surface Roughness ; Precursor Thin‐Film Flow ; Snap‐Off Trapping ; Universal Power Law ; Ordinary Bond Percolation
    ISSN: 0043-1397
    E-ISSN: 1944-7973
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