Geometrically derived efficiency of slow immiscible displacement in porous media
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionPhysical review. E. 2020, 102 . 10.1103/PhysRevE.102.033113
The efficiency of a displacement is the fraction of applied work over the change in free energy. This displacement efficiency is essential for linking wettability to applied work during displacement processes. We quantify the efficiency of slow immiscible displacements in porous media from pore space geometry. For this end, we introduce pore-scale definitions for thermodynamically reversible (ison) and irreverisble (rheon) processes. We argue that the efficiency of slow primary displacement is described by the geometry of the pore space for porous media with a sufficient number of pore bodies. This article introduces how to calculate such geometry-based efficiency locally, and integrating this local efficiency over the pore space yields an aggregate efficiency for the primary displacement in the porous medium. Further, we show how the geometrical characterization of the displacement efficiency links the efficiency to the constriction factor from transport processes governed by the Laplace equation. This enables estimation of displacement efficiency from traditional and widely available measurements for porous media. We present a thermodynamically based wettability calculation based on the local efficiency and a method to approximate this thermodynamically based wettability from traditional experiments.