A new mechanism of viscoelastic fluid for enhanced oil recovery: Viscoelastic oscillation

Chiyu Xie, Ke Xu, Pengpeng Qi, Jianping Xu, Matthew T. Balhoff

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This report summarizes our recent experimental findings [Xie et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 2022] and pore-scale simulation results [Xie et al., Phys. Rev. Fluids., 2020] on viscoelastic oscillation, which is a new observation of viscoelastic instability in the multiphase flow state. The viscoelastic oscillation causes trapping of droplets in contraction-expansion micro-channels regardless of the injection rate. Based on the force balance analysis on the viscous, capillary and elastic forces, the oscillation amplitude is found to linearly increase with viscoelasticity, and the trapped droplet size is determined by the elasto-capillary number. The oscillation also helps to extract droplets from their originally trapped positions such as dead-ends once a critical Deborah number is reached. These results successfully explain the phenomenon that the alternative injection of viscoelastic and inelastic fluids continually produces additional oil, indicating that the viscoelastic oscillation is a new important mechanism of viscoelastic fluid for enhanced oil recovery.

Cited as: Xie, C., Xu, K., Qi, P., Xu, J., Balhoff, M. T. A new mechanism of viscoelastic fluid for enhanced oil recovery: Viscoelastic oscillation. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2022, 6(3): 267-268. https://doi.org/10.46690/ager.2022.03.10


Viscoelastic fluid, droplet oscillation, elastic instability, enhanced oil recovery

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.46690/ager.2022.03.10


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