Development of an integrated microfluidic technology platform to assess fluid parameters at reservoir-relevant conditions

Recovering oil from underground reservoirs carries environmental and financial risks that can be minimized with prior knowledge of what fluids are there and how to efficiently extract them. Currently, fluid flow behaviour can be measured at reservoir conditions in large pressurized vessels capable of up to 150 atmospheres and 300°C, but measurements can take weeks to complete. As an alternative, Interface Fluidics is developing a miniaturized pressure vessel where fluid behaviour can be completely visually mapped in under a day and at comparatively low cost. This research project will improve all aspects of this prototype technology – the pressure/temperature operation range, the quality of visualized data, and automation of the data analysis – to accurately predict the outcome of oil recovery operations before they begin.

Scott Pierobon
Faculty Supervisor: 
Markus Bussmann
Partner University: