Chemical Transport in Partially Saturated Porous Media

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/V519534/1 30/09/2020 29/09/2026
2714832 Studentship EP/V519534/1 30/09/2020 31/03/2024
Description Two complementary techniques for imaging flow, X-ray CT, and transport, PET, through rock cores have been applied experimentally. These were applied to the imaging of surfactant/polymer (enhanced oil recovery method) floods in Bentheimer (sandstone) rock cores.
Via X-ray CT, a greater understanding of rock core aspect ratio on flooding performance was garnered - information that can help streamline and reduce wasted efforts in industrial surfactant/polymer flood worfklows.
Exploitation Route Albeit applied to enhanced oil recovery, surfactant transport plays an important role in other, more topical, research areas - such as soil remediation. The techniques applied here can be thus extended and applied to these parallel fields with the goal of developing additional knowledge there.
The work also demonstrated the possibility of performing more complex, multi-phase, experiments imaged via PET. These experiments can prove quite powerful as most 'realistic' flow scenarios contain multiple phases - within which, specific fundamental knowledge, such as dispersion in unsaturated porous media, can be investigated via imaging (direct imaging currently limited to micromodels).
Sectors Energy

Description Surfactant/Polymer flood imaged via Positron Emission Tomography 
Organisation Invicro
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Our team provided the equipment and expertise related to the surfactant and polymer flooding side of the experiment and analysis.
Collaborator Contribution The partners provided access to the PET imaging facilities, trained staff to operate the machinery and expertise in relation to the imaging technique.
Impact Surfactant and polymer flood imaged via PET - information relating to flow upstream and downstream of surfactant slug inferred from 'spiked' surfactant pulse.
Start Year 2022