Constant-Pressure Gas Porosimeter
- A.H. Heim (Schlumberger Well Surveying Corp.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- January 1961
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 87 - 89
- 1961. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.6.2 Core Analysis, 5.8.5 Oil Sand, Oil Shale, Bitumen, 4.3.4 Scale, 5.5.2 Core Analysis, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating
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A method and apparatus for measuring gas porosities of rocks are described. The apparatus can be assembled from commercially available components. In principle, measurements are made by volume substitution at constant pressure. The maximum error is not more than 0.3 porosity per cent. Typical results are given.
Determining the porosity of rock samples is one of the most important and yet most varied types of measurement in core analysis. Among the many techniques devised are the so-called "gas porosity" methods. An old and well known example is the Washburn-Bunting method. The U.S. Bureau of Mines described and later improved the apparatus for a now widely used method generally known as the "Boyle's law" method.
In the present form of the Washburn-Bunting method, the volume of air in the pores of a rock sample at atmospheric pressure is extracted and then collected in a graduated burette at atmospheric pressure. The volume of air is read directly as the pore volume of the sample. The absolute error in reading the collected volume of gas is independent of the total volume; thus, the relative error is larger when the volume is small, as it is for rocks of low porosity. In addition, the sample after measurement contains mercury, which limits its use for other analyses.
The Bureau of Mines (or Boyle's law) method measures directly the solids volume of a sample from which the pore volume and porosity are derived, using a separate measurement of the bulk volume. Gas at a few atmospheres pressure is introduced into a sample chamber of known volume containing the rock sample. The pressure is accurately measured. Following, the gas is expanded into a burette at 1 atm, and the gas volume is read directly. From the initial pressure p1 and the final pressure p2 and volume v2, the initial gas volume v1 is calculated using Boyle's law; that is, p1v1 = p2v2. Volume v1 minus the volume of the empty sample chamber is the solids volume of the sample. The accuracy of the method is limited, unless corrections are made, by deviations of the gas from the "ideal" gas-law behavior assumed in the simple form of Boyle's law.
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