Comprehensive comparison of pore-scale models for multiphase flow in porous media

Benzhong Zhao, Christopher W. MacMinn, Bauyrzhan K. Primkulov, Yu Chen, Albert J. Valocchi, Jianlin Zhao, Qinjun Kang, Kelsey Bruning, James E. McClure, Cass T. Miller, Abbas Fakhari, Diogo Bolster, Thomas Hiller, Martin Brinkmann, Luis Cueto-Felgueroso, Daniel A. Cogswell, Rahul Verma, Maša Prodanovic, Julien Maes, Sebastian GeigerMorten Vassvik, Alex Hansen, Enrico Segre, Ran Holtzman, Zhibing Yang, Chao Yuan, Bruno Chareyre, Ruben Juanes

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102 Citations (Scopus)
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Multiphase flows in porous media are important in many natural and industrial processes. Pore-scale models for multiphase flows have seen rapid development in recent years and are becoming increasingly useful as predictive tools in both academic and industrial applications. However, quantitative comparisons between different pore-scale models, and between these models and experimental data, are lacking. Here, we perform an objective comparison of a variety of state-of-the-art pore-scale models, including lattice Boltzmann, stochastic rotation dynamics, volume-of-fluid, level-set, phase-field, and pore-network models. As the basis for this comparison, we use a dataset from recent microfluidic experiments with precisely controlled pore geometry and wettability conditions, which offers an unprecedented benchmarking opportunity. We compare the results of the 14 participating teams both qualitatively and quantitatively using several standard metrics, such as fractal dimension, finger width, and displacement efficiency. We find that no single method excels across all conditions and that thin films and corner flow present substantial modeling and computational challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13799-13806
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number28
Early online date21 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2019


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