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Journal of Porous Media
IF: 1.752 5-Year IF: 1.487 SJR: 0.43 SNIP: 0.762 CiteScore™: 2.3

ISSN Print: 1091-028X
ISSN Online: 1934-0508

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Journal of Porous Media

DOI: 10.1615/JPorMedia.2018028698
pages 37-52

ASSESSMENT OF CAPILLARY PRESSURE ESTIMATE BASED ON FLUID-FLUID INTERFACE CURVATURE

Marzio Piller
Department of Engineering and Architecture, University of Trieste, via A. Valerio 10, 34127 Trieste (TS), Italy
Gianni Schena
Department of Engineering and Architecture, University of Trieste, via A. Valerio 10, 34127 Trieste (TS), Italy
Diego Casagrande
Department of Geotechnology, Delft University of Technology, 2628 CN Delft, Netherlands
Pacelli L.J. Zitha
Helmholz Zentrum fur Umweltforschung, Permoserstr. 15, 04318, Leipzig, Germany; Delft University of Technology, Department of Geotechnology, 2628 CN Delft, The Netherlands

ABSTRACT

Highresolution X-ray tomography can be used to measure the local mean curvature of fluid–fluid interfaces within the pores of opaque, permeable porous media. Thereof, the pore-scale capillary pressure can be estimated via the Young–Laplace equation. We critically review the aforementioned method by processing experimental data acquired with an X-ray cone-beam laboratory station and compare capillary pressure estimates with results of pore-scale numerical simulations. The method looks promising but is rather sensitive to the attainment of an equilibrium state for the fluid mixture and to the numerical calculation of curvature. Numerical simulation results provide evidence that dynamic effects result in a larger discrepancy between values of the capillary pressure computed from first principles (i.e., pressure difference across the interface) and from geometric considerations (i.e., curvature estimation and Young–Laplace equation).


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