Hydrodynamic dispersion in porous is due to the combined effects of advective transport and diffusion. In a single-phase flow, due to the spatial variability of pore sizes within a porous medium the local pore velocity can dramatically change which leads to the spatially variable advective transport and ultimately a disperse front of the injected fluid. Under two-phase flow condition, the situation is more complex as the local pore velocity is controlled by pore-size distribution as well as the presence of the other immiscible fluid phase. Thus, hydrodynamic transport is influenced by porous medium properties as well as fluids saturation and morphologies.
While the dispersion in Newtonian single-fluid phase and two fluid phase flow through porous media has been studied before, there is very limited knowledge on the dynamics of non-Newtonian two-phase flow as well as dispersion in non-Newtonian two-phase flow, which is the target of this project. The application of this study is broad with notable examples of enhanced oil recovery using polymer flooding, removal of oil contamination from soils using polymer injection, polymer-based drug delivery.
This study has two main objectives a) understanding the dynamics of transport of a chemical within a non-Newtonian fluid in a natural porous media, b) dynamics of two immiscible fluids where the injecting fluid is non-Newtonian. In both objectives, the micromodel experiments and novel pore-scale simulations will play the critical role that allows to evaluate the pore-scale physical phenomena at high spatial and time resolution, which is absolutely novel and can enhanced our in-depth understanding of complex fluids.
High 2.1 and above with a degree in mechanical or chemical engineering