Effects of intermediate wettability on entry capillary pressure in angular pores

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Abstract

Entry capillary pressure is one of the most important factors controlling drainage and remobilization of the capillary-trapped phases as it is the limiting factor against the two-phase displacement. It is known that the entry capillary pressure is rate dependent such that the inertia forces would enhance entry of the non-wetting phase into the pores. More importantly the entry capillary pressure is wettability dependent. However, while the movement of a meniscus into a strongly water-wet pore is well-defined, the invasion of a meniscus into a weak or intermediate water-wet pore especially in the case of angular pores is ambiguous. In this study using OpenFOAM software, high-resolution direct two-phase flow simulations of movement of a meniscus in a single capillary channel are performed. Interface dynamics in angular pores under drainage conditions have been simulated under constant flow rate boundary condition at different wettability conditions. Our results shows that the relation between the half corner angle of pores and contact angle controls the temporal evolution of capillary pressure during the invasion of a pore. By deviating from pure water-wet conditions, a dip in the temporal evolution of capillary pressure can be observed which will be pronounced in irregular angular cross sections. That enhances the pore invasion with a smaller differential pressure. The interplay between the contact angle and pore geometry can have significant implications for enhanced remobilization of ganglia in intermediate contact angles in real porous media morphologies, where pores are very heterogeneous with small shape factors.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-43
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Volume473
Early online date25 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

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