Development of Benchmark Experimental Transport and Multiphase Flow Data Sets to Test and Validate Pore-scale Numerical Simulators

Friday, 19 December 2014
Mart Oostrom, Pacific Northwest National Lab, Richland, WA, United States, Thomas W Wietsma, Pacific NW Natl Lab, Richland, WA, United States and Nancy J Hess, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, United States
Developing predictive models of multiphase flow and reactive transport and multiphase flow at the pore scale is a challenge common to diverse science areas. Increasingly, it has become more important in subsurface flow and transport research due to its relevance to research areas such as contaminant and colloidal transport and multiphase flow. Goals of pore-scale simulations include identification of key parameters and physicochemical processes controlling macroscopic phenomena, validation of continuum descriptions, and determination of appropriate forms of the continuum formulation for approximation of the pore-scale results. Numerical modeling of pore-scale (multiphase) flow and transport is an active research area. However, with the exception of a few studies, direct comparisons between pore-scale experiments and simulations have been limited. Some of the reasons experimental data have not been used extensively so far to test pore-scale models are related to quality and reproducibility issues with available micromodels. However, rapid advances in microfabrication and imaging have led to the development of experimental procedures ensuring high quality, reproducible results. Several of these advances have been implemented in the new microfluidics laboratory at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). In this contribution, recently obtained benchmark data sets for nonreactive transport, reactive transport, and multiphase flow are discussed. The data sets are offered to pore-scale numerical modelers for testing and validation purposes.