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  • 1
    In: Water Resources Research, May 2014, Vol.50(5), pp.4514-4529
    Description: A major difficulty in modeling multiphase flow in porous media is the emergence of trapped phases. Our experiments demonstrate that gas can be trapped in either single‐pores, multipores, or in large connected networks. These large connected clusters can comprise up to eight grain volumes and can contain up to 50% of the whole trapped gas volume. About 85% of the gas volume is trapped by gas clusters. This variety of possible trapped gas clusters of different shape and volume will lead to a better process understanding of bubble‐mediated mass transfer. Since multipore gas bubbles are in contact with the solid surface through ultrathin adsorbed water films the interfacial area between trapped gas clusters and intergranular capillary water is only about 80% of the total gas surface. We could derive a significant (R = 0.98) linear relationship between the gas‐water‐interface and gas saturation. We found no systematic dependency of the front velocity of the invading water phase in the velocity range from 0.1 to 0.6 cm/min corresponding to capillary numbers from 2 × 10 to 10. Our experimental results indicate that the capillary trapping mechanism is controlled by the local pore structure and local connectivity and not by thermodynamics, i.e., by the minimum of the , at least in the considered velocity range. Consistent with this physical picture is our finding that the trapping frequency (= bubble‐size distribution) reflects the pore size distribution for the whole range of pore radii, i.e., the capillary trapping process is determined by statistics and not by thermodynamics. No systematic dependency of trapping efficiency on capillary number Majority of trapped gas bubbles (85%) are multipore trapped Trapping of gas clusters is determined by statistics and not by thermodynamics
    Keywords: Gas Clusters ; Capillary Trapping ; Interfacial Area
    ISSN: 0043-1397
    E-ISSN: 1944-7973
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  • 2
    In: Water Resources Research, June 2017, Vol.53(6), pp.4709-4724
    Description: The relaxation dynamics toward a hydrostatic equilibrium after a change in phase saturation in porous media is governed by fluid reconfiguration at the pore scale. Little is known whether a hydrostatic equilibrium in which all interfaces come to rest is ever reached and which microscopic processes govern the time scales of relaxation. Here we apply fast synchrotron‐based X‐ray tomography (X‐ray CT) to measure the slow relaxation dynamics of fluid interfaces in a glass bead pack after fast drainage of the sample. The relaxation of interfaces triggers internal redistribution of fluids, reduces the surface energy stored in the fluid interfaces, and relaxes the contact angle toward the equilibrium value while the fluid topology remains unchanged. The equilibration of capillary pressures occurs in two stages: (i) a quick relaxation within seconds in which most of the pressure drop that built up during drainage is dissipated, a process that is to fast to be captured with fast X‐ray CT, and (ii) a slow relaxation with characteristic time scales of 1–4 h which manifests itself as a spontaneous imbibition process that is well described by the Washburn equation for capillary rise in porous media. The slow relaxation implies that a hydrostatic equilibrium is hardly ever attained in practice when conducting two‐phase experiments in which a flux boundary condition is changed from flow to no‐flow. Implications for experiments with pressure boundary conditions are discussed. What happens to fluids in a porous medium after pumping is stopped? Fast X‐ray tomography shows that even in a sample smaller than a sugar cube fluid interfaces continue to move for hours until an optimal fluid configuration is reached. The pace is limited by slow relaxation of dynamic contact angles. Therefore hydrostatic equilibrium, which is the state at which all fluid interfaces come to rest, is hardly ever attained in practice when conducting two‐phase flow experiments where the flow is stopped in much larger soil or rock samples. Relaxation dynamics through internal redistribution of fluids after fast drainage occurs in two stages A quick dissipation within seconds is followed by slow relaxation within several hours due to relaxation of dynamic contact angles Fluid configurations during relaxation are very different from those during quasi‐static drainage and imbibition
    Keywords: Two‐Phase Flow ; Dynamic Effects ; Hydraulic Nonequilibrium ; Dynamic Contact Angle ; Fluid Configuration ; Fluid Topology
    ISSN: 0043-1397
    E-ISSN: 1944-7973
    Library Location Call Number Volume/Issue/Year Availability
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