Pore-Scale Modeling of Non-Newtonian Flow in Porous Media

Authors: Taha Sochi

The thesis investigates the flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media using pore-scale network modeling. Non-Newtonian fluids show very complex time and strain dependent behavior and may have initial yield stress. Their common feature is that they do not obey the simple Newtonian relation of proportionality between stress and rate of deformation. They are generally classified into three main categories: time-independent, time-dependent and viscoelastic. Two three-dimensional networks representing a sand pack and Berea sandstone were used. An iterative numerical technique is used to solve the pressure field and obtain the flow rate and apparent viscosity. The time-independent category is investigated using two fluid models: Ellis and Herschel-Bulkley. The analysis confirmed the reliability of the non-Newtonian network model used in this study. Good results are obtained, especially for the Ellis model, when comparing the network model results to experimental data sets found in the literature. The yield-stress phenomenon is also investigated and several numerical algorithms were developed and implemented to predict threshold yield pressure of the network. An extensive literature survey and investigation were carried out to understand the phenomenon of viscoelasticity with special attention to the flow in porous media. The extensional flow and viscosity and converging-diverging geometry were thoroughly examined as the basis of the peculiar viscoelastic behavior in porous media. The modified Bautista-Manero model was identified as a promising candidate for modeling the flow of viscoelastic materials which also show thixotropic attributes. An algorithm that employs this model was implemented in the non-Newtonian code and the initial results were analyzed. The time-dependent category was examined and several problems in modeling and simulating the flow of these fluids were identified.

Comments: 190 Pages.

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[v1] 2016-10-14 05:26:47

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