3-D Visualization of Solvent Displacement Processes Using Laser Technology

  • Author / Creator
    Fang, Fang
  • A technique to visualize miscible displacement in porous media using laser and the analysis of the results for different processes are presented in this thesis. After saturating the model made of different sized glass beads with oil, solvent was introduced either under dynamic (injection and production through a pair of horizontal wells) or static (diffusion of solvent into oil saturated model) conditions. The former simulates the VAPEX (vapor extraction) process dictated by viscous and gravitational forces and the latter (“diffusion experiments”) represents diffusion/gravity (and thereby convection) controlled displacement of oil by the solvent contacting the porous medium saturated with oil. The refractive indices of saturated and injected fluids were made the same by mixing the fluids with lower and higher indices of refraction to make the model fully transparent. Fluorescent dyes that were only visible with excitation of laser were dissolved in the solvent. A laser sheet scanned the model while synchronous pictures were taken by two high speed cameras from two sides of the model. 2-D images obtained through this process were converted to 3-D visual data and qualitative and quantitative analyses were conducted. An optimized injection method for the VAPEX process was determined by testing different -constant and variable- injection rates. The effect of solvent gravity and viscosity on the displacement (chamber growth) process was also analyzed through the 3-D images. Diffusion was the major factor in the transition zone at the edge of solvent chamber, as well as the solvent propagation from fracture to rock matrices. “Diffusion” experiments were done to analyze the sweep and smoothness of the front (diffusion) interface for different pore sizes, solvent/oil gravity and viscosity ratios, and the boundary effects. The box-counting fractal dimension of the solvent diffusion front in 3-D was applied to compare the progress of the solvent-oil interfaces (mixing process) for different conditions.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2016
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.