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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3389/FRWA.2021.643714

Computational Microfluidics for Geosciences

02 Mar 2021-Vol. 3
Abstract: Computational microfluidics for geosciences is the third leg of the scientific strategy that includes microfluidic experiments and high-resolution imaging for deciphering coupled processes in geological porous media. This modelling approach solves the fundamental equations of continuum mechanics in the exact geometry of porous materials. Computational microfluidics intends to complement and augment laboratory experiments. Although the field is still in its infancy, the recent progress in modelling multiphase flow and reactive transport at the pore-scale has shed new light on the coupled mechanisms occurring in geological porous media already. In this paper, we review the state-of-the-art computational microfluidics for geosciences, the open challenges, and the future trends.

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Topics: Microfluidics (51%)
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7 results found


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1007/S11242-021-01613-2
Catherine Noiriel, Cyprien Soulaine1Institutions (1)
Abstract: Fluid–mineral and fluid–rock interfaces are key parameters controlling the reactivity and fate of fluids in reservoir rocks and aquifers. The interface dynamics through space and time results from complex processes involving a tight coupling between chemical reactions and transport of species as well as a strong dependence on the physical, chemical, mineralogical and structural properties of the reacting solid phases. In this article, we review the recent advances in pore-scale imaging and reactive flow modelling applied to interface dynamics. Digital rocks derived from time-lapse X-ray micro-tomography imaging gives unprecedented opportunity to track the interface evolution during reactive flow experiments in porous or fractured media, and evaluate locally mineral reactivity. The recent improvements in pore-scale reactive transport modelling allow for a fine description of flow and transport that integrates moving fluid–mineral interfaces inherent to chemical reactions. Combined with three-dimensional digital images, pore-scale reactive transport modelling complements and augments laboratory experiments. The most advanced multi-scale models integrate sub-voxel porosity and processes which relate to imaging instrument resolution and improve upscaling possibilities. Two example applications based on the solver porousMedia4Foam illustrate the dynamics of the interface for different transport regimes (i.e., diffusive- to advective-dominant) and rock matrix properties (i.e., permeable vs. impermeable, and homogeneous vs. polymineralic). These parameters affect both the interface roughness and its geometry evolution, from sharp front to smeared (i.e., diffuse) interface. The paper concludes by discussing the challenges associated with precipitation processes in porous media, rock texture and composition (i.e., physical and mineralogical heterogeneity), and upscaling to larger scales.

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Topics: Porous medium (51%)

4 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.ENVSOFT.2021.105199
Abstract: porousMedia4Foam is a package for solving flow and transport in porous media using OpenFOAM® - a popular open-source numerical toolbox. We introduce and highlight the features of a new generation open-source hydro-geochemical module implemented within porousMedia4Foam, which relies on micro-continuum concept and which makes it possible to investigate hydro-geochemical processes occurring at multiple scales i.e. at the pore-scale, reservoir-scale and at the hybrid-scale. Geochemistry is handled by a third party package (e.g. PHREEQC) that is coupled to the flow and transport solver of OpenFOAM®. We conducted benchmarks across different scales to validate the accuracy of our simulator. We further looked at the evolution of mineral dissolution/precipitation in a fractured porous system. Application fields of this new package include the investigation of hydro-bio-geochemical processes in the critical zone, the modelling of contaminant transport in aquifers, as well as and the assessment of confinement performance for geological barriers.

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2 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.2516/OGST/2021032
Abstract: Hydrodynamic dispersion is a crucial mechanism for modelling contaminant transport in subsurface engineering and water resources management whose determination remains challenging. We use Digital Rock Physics (DRP) to evaluate the longitudinal dispersion of a sandpack. From a three-dimensional image of a porous sample obtained with X-ray microtomography, we use the method of volume averaging to assess the longitudinal dispersion. Our numerical implementation is open-source and relies on a modern scientific platform that allows for large computational domains and High-Performance Computing. We verify the robustness of our model using cases for which reference solutions exist and we show that the longitudinal dispersion of a sandpack scales as a power law of the Peclet number. The assessment methodology is generic and applies to any kind of rock samples.

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1 Citations


Open accessPosted Content
Abstract: Sub-resolution porosity (SRP) is an ubiquitous, yet often ignored, feature in Digital Rock Physics. It embodies the trade-off between image resolution and field-of-view, and it is a direct result of choosing an imaging resolution that is larger than the smallest pores in a heterogeneous rock sample. In this study, we investigate the impacts of SRP on multiphase flow in porous rocks. To do so, we use our newly developed Multiphase Micro-Continuum model to perform first-of-a-kind direct numerical simulations of two-phase flow in porous samples containing SRP. We show that SRP properties (porosity, permeability, wettability) can impact predicted absolute permeabilities, fluid breakthrough times, residual saturations, and relative permeabilities by factors of up to 2, 1.5, 3, and 20, respectively. In particular, our results reveal that SRP can function as a persistent connector preventing the formation of isolated wetting fluid domains during drainage, thus dramatically increasing relative permeabilities to both fluids at low saturations. Overall, our study confirms previous evidence that the influence of SRP cannot be disregarded without incurring significant errors in numerical predictions or experimental analyses of multiphase flow in heterogeneous porous media.

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Topics: Multiphase flow (59%), Porous medium (55%)


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162 results found


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/0021-9991(81)90145-5
C.W Hirt1, B. D. Nichols1Institutions (1)
Abstract: Several methods have been previously used to approximate free boundaries in finite-difference numerical simulations. A simple, but powerful, method is described that is based on the concept of a fractional volume of fluid (VOF). This method is shown to be more flexible and efficient than other methods for treating complicated free boundary configurations. To illustrate the method, a description is given for an incompressible hydrodynamics code, SOLA-VOF, that uses the VOF technique to track free fluid surfaces.

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Topics: Volume of fluid method (60%), Compressibility (50%)

9,793 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/0021-9991(92)90240-Y
Abstract: In the novel method presented for modeling the effects of surface tension on fluid motion, the interfaces between fluids with different, color-represented properties are finite-thickness transition regions across which the color varies continuously. A force density proportional to the surface curvature of constant color is defined at each point in the transition region; this force-density is normalized in such a way that the conventional description of surface tension on an interface is recovered when the ratio of local transition-reion thickness to local curvature radius approaches zero. The properties of the method are illustrated by computational results for 2D flows.

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Topics: Capillary surface (64%), Capillary length (61%), Curvature (61%) ... show more

6,624 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1103/REVMODPHYS.57.827
P. G. de Gennes1Institutions (1)
Abstract: The wetting of solids by liquids is connected to physical chemistry (wettability), to statistical physics (pinning of the contact line, wetting transitions, etc.), to long-range forces (van der Waals, double layers), and to fluid dynamics. The present review represents an attempt towards a unified picture with special emphasis on certain features of "dry spreading": (a) the final state of a spreading droplet need not be a monomolecular film; (b) the spreading drop is surrounded by a precursor film, where most of the available free energy is spent; and (c) polymer melts may slip on the solid and belong to a separate dynamical class, conceptually related to the spreading of superfluids.

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Topics: Wetting transition (64%), Wetting (56%), van der Waals force (52%)

5,699 Citations



Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1086/112164
Abstract: A finite-size particle scheme for the numerical solution of two- and three-dimensional gas dynamical problems of astronomical interest is described and tested. The scheme is then applied to the fission problem for optically thick protostars. Results are given, showing the evolution of one such protostar from an initial state as a single, rotating star to a final state as a triple system whose components contain 60% of the original mass. The decisiveness of this numerical test of the fission hypothesis and its relevance to observed binaries are briefly discussed.

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Topics: Fission (56%), Protostar (53%), Numerical stability (53%)

4,971 Citations


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20217