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International Journal of Fluid Mechanics Research

ISSN Print: 1064-2277
ISSN Online: 2152-5102

International Journal of Fluid Mechanics Research

DOI: 10.1615/InterJFluidMechRes.v26.i5-6.70
pages 631-642

Viscous Fingering During Miscible Liquid-Liquid Displacement in Porous Media

M. R. Islam
University of Regina, Regina, Canada


Viscous fingering takes place when the viscous forces of a displacing phase has greater momentum than that of the displaced phase. Viscous fingering is an extremely important phenomenon in many applications of enhanced oil recovery, underground liquid waste disposal, and geothermal energy production. While the onset and propagation of viscous fingers during liquid-liquid displacement is considered to be of severe engineering consequences, little has been done to mathematically model the onset and propagation of a viscous finger. Viscous finger under double diffusive conditions is even scarcer. In this paper, two-dimensional non-linear double diffusive convection in a multi-porous cavity is considered. The Darcy equation, including Brinkman term to account for the viscous effects, is used as the momentum equation. The model consists of two rectangular cavities filled with glass beads having a diameter d1 = 5.25 mm. The smaller cavity is located at the top of the larger one. The larger cavity is filled initially with glycerin while the smaller one contains fresh water. At the initial time, the fresh water is injected with a velocity of 0.333 cm/s and the viscous fingering formation is studied in details. The momentum, solutal, energy and continuity equations are solved numerically using the finite element technique. This transient problem is solved to study the thermal displacement, the isothermal displacement and the microgravity displacement of glycerin by water to understand the onset and the propagation of viscous fingering. For each case, the variation of the distance between the tip of the finger with time is studied in details. The effects of aspect ratio and displacement velocity are studied, both in the context of onset and propagation of viscous fingers.