Wettability in natural porous media
Wettability is a fundamental and complex phenomenon that can be found in many industrial applications. Controlled wettability or fabrication of materials with a desired wettability are the major industrial challenges in applications such as paint industry, fuel cells, reservoir engineering, paper and filter industry, and membranes.
Although a wealth of researchers focuses on wettability on a surface, mostly for fabricated industrial systems, understanding the effect of wettability across scales is still an open question. In many porous systems the objective is to control or modify the wettability. Low salinity water flooding, as one of the enhanced oil recoveries, is one of the techniques to modify the wettability to improve oil recovery at reservoir scale. The objective of this study is to investigate the fundamentals of wettability in natural porous materials, sandstone and carbonate rocks, and to investigate the effect of wettability at higher scale rock properties such as capillary pressure and relative permeability curves. The applicant should develop novel pore-scale computational methods to investigate the wettability at pore scale including surface and fluid chemistry. The project will cover image analysis of natural porous media, analytical characterization techniques, development of pore-scale numerical models, and laboratorial experiments for validation objectives. The applicant ideally should have a 1st or 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in (computational/experimental) physics, chemical engineering with strong mathematical background. The applicant should be familiar with programming in FORTRAN, C or C++.
Successful candidates will be enrolled in the 3-year Ph.D. program of the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science. Starting date is negotiable.
The successful PhD candidate will be a member of the IMPRES (Integrated Multiscale Porous media Research) team, which has been recently established. IMPRES team focused on diverse problems of porous media applications across different scales through advanced computational and experimental methods. The state-of-the-art micromodel lab, access to DIAMOND synchrotron and microCT imaging facilities are some of the available experimental facilities.
Funding covers tuition fees and annual maintenance payments of at least the Research Council minimum (currently £13,863) for eligible UK and EU applicants. EU nationals must have lived in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the programme to be eligible for a full award (fees and stipend). Other EU nationals may be eligible for a fees-only award. Self-funded applicants are also welcome.
Applicants should demonstrate academic excellence and high motivation for research, and should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 degree in chemical engineering or a related subject.
How good is research at University of Manchester in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?
FTE Category A staff submitted: 33.90
Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)
Click here to see the results for all UK universities