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Current Minireview | Open Access

Local instabilities during capillary-dominated immiscible displacement in porous media

Institute of Geophysics and Geomatics, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, P. R. China
School of Engineering, Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, 6027, Australia
State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, China University of Petroleum, Beijing 102249, P. R. China
Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands
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Abstract

Fully understanding the mechanism of pore-scale immiscible displacement dominated by capillary forces, especially local instabilities and their influence on flow patterns, is essential for various industrial and environmental applications such as enhanced oil recovery, CO2 geo-sequestration and remediation of contaminated aquifers. It is well known that such immiscible displacement is extremely sensitive to the fluid properties and pore structure, especially the wetting properties of the porous medium which affect not only local interfacial instabilities at the micro-scale, but also displacement patterns at the macro-scale. In this review, local interfacial instabilities under three typical wetting conditions, namely Haines jump events during weakly-wetting drainage, snap-off events during strongly-wetting imbibition, and the co-existence of concave and convex interfaces under intermediate-wet condition, are reviewed to help understand the microscale physics and macroscopic consequences resulting in natural porous media.

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Capillarity
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Cite this article:
Liu Y, Iglauer S, Cai J, et al. Local instabilities during capillary-dominated immiscible displacement in porous media. Capillarity, 2019, 2(1): 1-7. https://doi.org/10.26804/capi.2019.01.01

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Received: 01 January 2019
Revised: 25 January 2019
Accepted: 26 January 2019
Published: 05 February 2019
© The Author(s) 2019

This article is distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC-ND) license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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