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Synchrotron 4-dimensional imaging of two-phase flow through porous media

  • F.H. Kim (a1), D. Penumadu (a2), P. Patel (a2), X. Xiao (a3), E.J. Garboczi (a4), S.P. Moylan (a1) and M.A. Donmez (a1)...


Near real-time visualization of complex two-phase flow in a porous medium was demonstrated with dynamic 4-dimensional (4D) (3D + time) imaging at the 2-BM beam line of the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory. Advancing fluid fronts through tortuous flow paths and their interactions with sand grains were clearly captured, and formations of air bubbles and capillary bridges were visualized. The intense X-ray photon flux of the synchrotron facility made 4D imaging possible, capturing the dynamic evolution of both solid and fluid phases. Computed Tomography (CT) scans were collected every 12 s with a pixel size of 3.25 μm. The experiment was carried out to improve understanding of the physics associated with two-phase flow. The results provide a source of validation data for numerical simulation codes such as Lattice-Boltzmann, which are used to model multi-phase flow through porous media.


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