A variational approach to non-Newtonian flow in angular pores: An application to enhanced oil recovery

Nithin Kavoori, University of Texas at El Paso


With an alarming rise in carbon dioxide (CO2) emission from anthropogenic sources, CO2 sequestration has become an attractive choice to mitigate the emission. Some popular storage media for CO2 are oil reservoirs, deep coal-bed, deep oceanic-beds. These have been used for the long term CO2 storage. Due to special lowering viscosity and surface tension property of CO2, it has been widely used for enhanced oil recovery. The sites for CO2 sequestration or enhanced oil recovery mostly consist of porous rocks. In this thesis work, I focus on understanding the flow through porous at pore-level using variational approach. Variational approach is a method to approximate analytical expressions for computing flow conductance through various cross section pores. Variational method approach is a skillful technique enabling us to account for the physical processes developed at the pore scale. Here, I focus on triangular and circular cross section pores because theoretical expressions for these two geometries are possible. The variational approach allows an extension at the fluid to fluid interface concerning simple free-slip or no-slip boundary conditions that can minimize the computational efforts. The approach also allows us to study non-Newtonian fluid flows. In this thesis, I developed a single-phase flow conductance model for the triangular and circular cross-section of a pore and validated variational results against theoretical and empirical formulations for both Newtonian and non-Newtonian flows. I observe that variational formulations gives very accurate results, provides an alternative to, if available, theoretical solutions and hence can be extended to study real life applications.

Subject Area

Mechanical engineering

Recommended Citation

Kavoori, Nithin, "A variational approach to non-Newtonian flow in angular pores: An application to enhanced oil recovery" (2010). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1483871.