Fluid Dispersion and Distribution in Porous Media Using the Frequency Response Method With a Radioactive Tracer
- R.R. Goddard (Gulf Research & Development Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal
- Publication Date
- June 1966
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 143 - 152
- 1966. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.3.1 Flow in porous media
- 3 in the last 30 days
- 233 since 2007
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By use of the frequency response method with a radioactive tracer, it was possible to determine fluid dispersion and distribution in a natural consolidated and an unconsolidated medium. Measurements were made in a linear flow system at oleic saturations of 69 per cent in the consolidated medium, and 100 per cent in both media.
Dispersion and distribution were obtained by measuring the amplitude attenuation and the phase velocity of sinusoidal waves with a dual monitor apparatus. The gamma ray emissions permitted in situ measurements at any distance along the porous samples. One result of importance was that the effective diffusivity increased as the wave length increased. As a consequence, a dispersion coefficient appropriate for the injection of large slugs might exceed the value measured by use of small slugs.
Since flow models based solely on fluid velocity and an effective diffusivity coefficient imply that the diffusivity should be independent of frequency, such representations were not adequate for the data of this study. A comparison was made with a capacitance model of porous media with dead-end PV's, but even this model was not completely adequate.
By using attenuation and phase velocity data, fluid dispersion can be predicted without postulating a differential equation satisfied by the tracer concentration, thereby eliminating the need of a complicated model to represent dispersion.
The flow of similar miscible fluids through a porous medium can be fairly adequately described by two parameters: the average fluid velocity and the effective diffusivity.1-3 It has been pointed out recently, however, that significant discrepancies exist between this representation and the experimental data.4-7 An improved agreement can be obtained by introducing additional parameters based on the concept of dead-end pores. The purpose of the present investigation was to find out whether the frequency response method could be used to measure the relevant parameters.
The method was used in the following form. A stream of fluid was flowed at a constant rate through a sample of porous material and the concentration of a radioactive tracer in the fluid was varied sinusoidally at a fixed frequency. The effects of flow through a porous medium are a decrease in the amplitude of the concentration wave and an increase in the velocity of the peaks of the waves above the average velocity. Attenuation and phase velocity of the waves were measured as a function of frequency and fluid velocity.
The simple two-parameter model implies that the diffusivity should be independent of frequency. Data reported in this paper show that the diffusivity decreases as the frequency increases. Hence, as shown also by many others, the two-parameter model is not completely adequate.
Coats and Smith5 used two additional parameters in their model: the volume of the dead-end pores and the rate of mass transfer between dead-end pores and the flowing stream. Their capacitance model of a porous medium containing some stagnant fluid, to which transfer occurs by molecular diffusion, did not explain the dispersion results of either the present study or of theirs. Instead, the capacitance effect can be better described as the result of extreme velocity variations within the pores of the medium, with transfer between the velocity zones by convection.
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