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A comprehensive review of pore scale modeling methodologies for multiphase flow in porous media

Amir Golparvar, Yingfang Zhou, Kejian Wu, Jingsheng Ma, Zhixin Yu

(Published: 2018-08-28)

Corresponding Author and Email:Yingfang Zhou,

Citation:Golparvar, A., Zhou, Y., Wu, K., Ma, J., Yu, Z. A comprehensive review of pore scale modeling methodologies for multiphase flow in porous media. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2018, 2(4): 418-440, doi: 10.26804/ager.2018.04.07.

Article Type:Invited review


Multiphase flow in porous media is relevant to amount of engineering processes, such as hydrocarbon extraction from reservoir rock, water contamination, CO2 geological storage and sequestration. Pore scale modeling, as an alternative approach to lab measurement, firstly serves as an effective bridge to link the pore scale properties (pore geometry and wettability) and displacement mechanisms to continuous scale multiphase flow in porous media; and secondly allows us to determine essential flow functions, such as capillary pressure and relative permeability curves, which are required for continuous scale modeling. In the literature, three methodologies, Bundle of Capillary Tube Modeling (BCTM), Direct Pore Scale Modeling (DPSM) and Pore Network Modeling (PNM), have appeared to be mostly widely adopted in the investigation of the pore-scale mechanics of fluid-fluid and fluid-solid interactions in porous media by numerical simulation. In this review article, a comprehensive review is provided to show their strengths and weaknesses and to highlight challenges that are faced in modelling of multiphase flow, key challenges include: are contact angle characterization, validation and upscale pore scale findings to core, or even field scale.

Keywords:Multiphase flow, pore scale modeling, bundle of capillary tube modeling, direct pore scale modeling, pore network modeling.


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