Micro- and Nanofluidics to Measure Fluid Performance in Unconventional Hydrocarbon Extraction

Oil recovery from underground reservoirs with small pore-scales can have environmental impacts that can be minimized with prior knowledge of the physics behind fluids/fluids and fluids/rock interaction and the type of fluid to employ for oil extraction. Currently, these analyses can be performed in laboratories at reservoir conditions with rock samples in large pressurized vessels capable high pressure (~15 MPa) and temperature (~150 C). However, these measurements take weeks to complete and there is a test-to-test variation due to the lack of repeatability in the rock sample. Interface Fluidics, alternatively, is developing a miniaturized pressure vessel where fluid behaviour can be completely visually mapped in a day and at comparatively low cost. This research project will screen the main parameters affecting the oil recovery efficiency, the precision of the data analyses, to accurately predict the outcome of oil recovery operations before they begin.

Zahra Barikbin
Faculty Supervisor: 
Christopher R Clarkson
Partner University: