Non-Darcy flow through synthetic porous media and development of non-Darcy coefficient correlations

Elsanoose, Abadelhalim (2023) Non-Darcy flow through synthetic porous media and development of non-Darcy coefficient correlations. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The flow in porosity is one of the hot research topics involved in many engineering applications, so there has been extensive research in this field. The flow in porous media is either Darcy or non-Darcy, depending on the flow velocities. Therefore, the need for a study that effectively: presents an experimental study that captures the complexity of the non-Darcy flow and calculates the non-Darcy coefficient is crucial. This study provides a comprehensive radial flow experimental method focusing on the non-Darcy flow in porous media. The study outlines samples preparation, updating the experimental setup, and analyzing the experimental data. The porous media samples were prepared from sand collected from local sources. The sand was dried, sieved, and classified into different grain sizes. The sand was mixed with an appropriate amount of epoxy; seven samples were prepared. A perforation was drilled in the center of each sample, and the perforation was considered the outlet. The experimental setup has been updated to be suitable for conducting single and multiple-phase flow experiments. Pressure sensors and three flow lines for water, gas, and oil with non-return valves were added. Three gas, water, and oil flowmeters were installed and connected to the DAQ. In this study, three experiments were carried out, the first using water as a working fluid, the second for compressible flow using air, and finally, multiple flows by mixing water and air. A radial flow experiment was conducted to investigate the existence of non-Darcy flow and calculate the non-Darcy "inertia" coefficient on seven cylindrical perforated synthetic porous media samples. Nonetheless, it was found that the non-Darcy flow exists even in the very low flow rate deployed in this study. Three criteria were used to detect the existence of non-Darcy flow: Reynolds number Re, pressure forces vs. inertia forces curve, and hydraulic gradient vs. velocity. Reliable correlations for estimating the non-Darcy coefficient are introduced in this study, one of which considered tortuosity a vital parameter. The correlations resulted from analyzing the beta values obtained from experiments for two types of fluids on a wide range of flow rates and compared to other correlations reported in the literature. In Addition, an experimental and numerical study of multi-phase flow in porous media near a perforation was conducted. The effect of properties on the flow, such as porosity and permeability, are crucial for increasing oil and gas production. The numerical validation of the two-phase flow experimental results was using ANSYS software. The investigation confirms that the flow rate of water mainly determines the steady state, while the flow rate of air primarily affects the unstable stage. The equations reached in this study can be relied upon in the Forchheimer equation, which is widely used in industrial applications to calculate the pressure drop in the oil and gas industry. The limitations of this study are the use of only two types of fluids and the number of samples. This study may be more comprehensive if more fluids are used and samples with less permeability and porosity than the current samples.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 15967
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: porous media, non-Darcy flow, Darcy flow, non-Darcy coefficient, radial flow
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: May 2023
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Porous materials--Fluid dynamics; Darcy's law; Hydrology

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