A brief review of the correlation between electrical properties and wetting behaviour in porous media

Shuai Li, Shumeng Hou

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Wettability is a critical interface property for two-phase flow and reactive transport process in porous media. Wettability alteration is considered as the dominated mechanism for enhanced oil recovery during low salinity waterflooding. The conventional characterization of wettability by contact angle at a single substrate and Amott method at core are limited. In this minireview, we introduce recent improvements in characterization of the electrochemical properties of an interfacial layer formed at the mineral-water interface, and review the application of surface potential (i.e., zeta potential) as an invasive and reliable technique to characterise the wetting behaviour of sample core across different geochemistry conditions. In order to resolve the puzzle of the wettability alteration in an oil-brine-rock system, experimental studies combined with numerical simulations across multiscale and variable geochemistry conditions are required for the future investigation.

Cited as: Li, S., Hou, S. A brief review of the correlation between electrical properties and wetting behaviour in porous media. Capillarity, 2019, 2(3): 53-56, doi: 10.26804/capi.2019.03.02


Wettability alteration; electrical properties; oil recovery; low salinity waterflooding

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