262512 Nanoparticle Transport in the Pore Space of a Packed Column and Investigation of Adsorption Effects with the Use of Lattice Boltzmann Simulations

Monday, October 29, 2012: 2:30 PM
409 (Convention Center )
Ngoc Hong Pham, Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, Daniel P. Swatske, School of Chemical, Biological, and Materials Engineering, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, Daniel E. Resasco, School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering and Carbon Nanotube Technology Center, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, Jeffrey Harwell, Chemical Engineering, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, Bor-Jier Shiau, School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK and Dimitrios V. Papavassiliou, School of Chemical Biological and Materials Engineering, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Engineered nanoparticles have been found to be potentially useful for enhanced oil recovery processes. By injecting these particles into the well, it is expected that the particles will pass through the pore throats and go deeply into the reservoir rock to reflect information about the reservoir. Thus, injected nanoparticles must satisfy some crucial pre-requisites, such as: long-term stability, no aggregate generation, and minimal retention by the rock. In this study, the motion of nanoparticles inside the pore space of a crushed Berea sandstone column is explored numerically by using the Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) in conjunction with the Lagrangian Scalar Tracking (LST) algorithm [1], which is utilized to track the trajectories of individual nanoparticels in the flow field generated by the LBM. The crushed Berea column is modeled to be a column of 150µm-diameter spheres packed in a random manner. Particles lost due to size exclusion are neglected in our simulation, since the characteristic length of a qualified nanoparticle is usually one order of magnitude smaller than the characteristic dimension of the consolidated reservoir rock pores. Therefore, the main factor hindering the particle motion is particle adsorption on the pore surfaces, which is modeled as a pseudo-first order adsorption process. The numerical approach is validated with experimental results and then the simulations are used to provide quantitative results on the effects of porosity, tortuosity, nanoparticle diffusivity and adsorption kinetics on the transport behavior of the nanoparticles.


The financial support of the Advanced Energy Consortium (AEC BEG08-022) and the computational support of XSEDE (CTS090017) are acknowledged.


  1. Voronov, R.S., VanGordon, S., Sikavitsas, V.I., and D.V. Papavassiliou, “Efficient Lagrangian scalar tracking method for reactive local mass transport simulation through porous media,” Int. J. for Numerical Methods in Fluids, 67, 501-517, 2011

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