The paper from Federico Lanza, Alberto Rosso, Laurent Talon & Alex Hansen was accepted and published on August 27th, 2022, under Transport in Porous Media. Congratulations!
Fluid blobs in an immiscible Newtonian fluid flowing in a capillary tube with varying radius show highly nonlinear behavior. We consider here a generalization of previously obtained results to blobs of non-Newtonian fluids. We compute here the yield pressure drop and the mean flow rate in two cases: (i) When a single blob is injected, (ii) When many blobs are randomly injected into the tube. We find that the capillary effects emerge from the non-uniformity of the tube radius and contribute to the threshold pressure for flow to occur. Furthermore, in the presence of many blobs the threshold value depends on the number of blobs and their relative distances which are randomly distributed. For a capillary fiber bundle of identical parallel tubes, we calculate the probability distribution of the threshold pressure and the mean flow rate. We consider two geometries: tubes of sinusoidal shape, for which we derive explicit expressions, and triangular-shaped tubes, for which we find that essential singularities are developed. We perform numerical simulations confirming our analytical results.