PoreLab paper on “The Co-Moving Velocity in Immiscible Two-Phase Flow in Porous Media” published in TiPM

The important paper from Subhadeep RoyHåkon PedersenSantanu Sinha & Alex Hansen was published in Transport in Porous Media in May 2022. Click on the following link to read it: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11242-022-01783-7#article-info

Abstract: We present a continuum (i.e., an effective) description of immiscible two-phase flow in porous media characterized by two fields, the pressure and the saturation. Gradients in these two fields are the driving forces that move the immiscible fluids around. The fluids are characterized by two seepage velocity fields, one for each fluid. Following Hansen et al. (Transport in Porous Media, 125, 565 (2018)), we construct a two-way transformation between the velocity couple consisting of the seepage velocity of each fluid, to a velocity couple consisting of the average seepage velocity of both fluids and a new velocity parameter, the co-moving velocity. The co-moving velocity is related but not equal to velocity difference between the two immiscible fluids. The two-way mapping, the mass conservation equation and the constitutive equations for the average seepage velocity and the co-moving velocity form a closed set of equations that determine the flow. There is growing experimental, computational and theoretical evidence that constitutive equation for the average seepage velocity has the form of a power law in the pressure gradient over a wide range of capillary numbers. Through the transformation between the two velocity couples, this constitutive equation may be taken directly into account in the equations describing the flow of each fluid. This is, e.g., not possible using relative permeability theory. By reverse engineering relative permeability data from the literature, we construct the constitutive equation for the co-moving velocity. We also calculate the co-moving constitutive equation using a dynamic pore network model over a wide range of parameters, from where the flow is viscosity dominated to where the capillary and viscous forces compete. Both the relative permeability data from the literature and the dynamic pore network model give the same very simple functional form for the constitutive equation over the whole range of parameters