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Published August 2018 | Supplemental Material + Published
Journal Article Open

Pore-scale modeling of phase change in porous media


The combination of high-resolution visualization techniques and pore-scale flow modeling is a powerful tool used to understand multiphase flow mechanisms in porous media and their impact on reservoir-scale processes. One of the main open challenges in pore-scale modeling is the direct simulation of flows involving multicomponent mixtures with complex phase behavior. Reservoir fluid mixtures are often described through cubic equations of state, which makes diffuse-interface, or phase-field, theories particularly appealing as a modeling framework. What is still unclear is whether equation-of-state-driven diffuse-interface models can adequately describe processes where surface tension and wetting phenomena play important roles. Here we present a diffuse-interface model of single-component two-phase flow (a van der Waals fluid) in a porous medium under different wetting conditions. We propose a simplified Darcy-Korteweg model that is appropriate to describe flow in a Hele-Shaw cell or a micromodel, with a gap-averaged velocity. We study the ability of the diffuse-interface model to capture capillary pressure and the dynamics of vaporization-condensation fronts and show that the model reproduces pressure fluctuations that emerge from abrupt interface displacements (Haines jumps) and from the breakup of wetting films.

Additional Information

© 2018 American Physical Society. Received 12 July 2017; published 8 August 2018. L.C.-F. gratefully acknowledges funding from the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (Grants No. CTM2014-54312-P and No. RYC-2012-11704). L.C.-F. and R.J. gratefully acknowledge funding from the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives, through a Seed Fund grant.

Attached Files

Published - PhysRevFluids.3.084302.pdf

Supplemental Material - mixed1.mov

Supplemental Material - mixed2.mov


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