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Foam flow in porous media

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Foams and Minimal Surfaces

Co-author: Rouhi Farajzadeh (Shell Global Solution International)

The flow of foam in porous media is a complex process depending on the media properties (permeability, porosity and surface chemistry), oil saturation, gas and liquid fraction. Foam appears to be very viscous in a porous media which increases the sweep efficiency. This displacement property is used for oil recovery processes. Several works have studied the effect of oil on foam. Depending on the oil and the surfactant chemistry, oil destabilizes foam. The oil effect has been linked to various mechanisms like disjoining pressure, liquid fraction, entering and spreading coefficient, emulsification, etc. However the oil effect in porous media is still not well quantifiable. In addition, coarsening, coalescence and drainage of foam in porous media have been poorly studied. On large scale, relevant for oil recovery applications, foam flow is simulated by a mobility reduction model, which scales down the gas mobility based on empirical parameters. Effect of the physical parameters on the model will be discussed. We will present numerical and experimental works on the foam flooding and report the current challenges of the research.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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