Revisiting Thomson Equation for Accurate Modeling of Pore Scale Thermodynamics of Hydrocarbon Solvents
- Ilyas Al-Kindi (University of Alberta) | Tayfun Babadagli (University of Alberta)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, 9-11 October, San Antonio, Texas, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2017. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.2.3 Rock properties
- heavy-oil recovery, solvent thermal injection, capillary properties, solvent boiling point, Thomson equation
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- 128 since 2007
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As stated by the classical Thomson equation, the pore scale thermodynamics of solvent is different from bulk conditions being critically controlled by capillary characteristics. This equation shows that the boiling points decrease remarkably as the pore size and interfacial tension become smaller. This paper investigates this phenomenon for hydrocarbon solvents experimentally and compares the results with the values obtained from the Thomson equation to test its applicability in modelling heavy-oil recovery by solvents under non-isothermal conditions. As an initial step, the boiling temperature of different single component solvents (heptane and decane) was measured by saturating Hele-Shaw type cells with variable apertures (ranging from 0.04 mm to 5 mm) and monitoring the boiling process. One experiment was run with a thickness of 12 mm to represent the bulk case. As the aperture (pore size) became smaller, the boiling point temperature decreased. For example, the measured boiling temperatures of heptane and decane were approximately 57.7°C and 107.4°C for the aperture values less than 0.15 mm, which were considerably lower than the "bulk" values (around 40%). In the next step, the same experiments were repeated using micromodels representing porous media. The micromodel (grain diameter of 0.15 mm and a pore throat of 0.075 mm) was designed with uniform properties (constant grain diameter and pore throat). By using the Thomson equation, the boiling points of the selected liquids were mathematically computed and compared with the experimental results from Hele-Shaw experiments.
|File Size||2 MB||Number of Pages||22|
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