Non-equilibrium model of two-phase porous media flow with phase change

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Luis Cueto-Felgueroso1,2, Xiaojing Fu1 and Ruben Juanes1, (1)Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States, (2)Technical University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
The efficient simulation of multi-phase multi-component flow through geologic porous media is challenging and computationally intensive, yet quantitative modeling of these processes is essential in engineering and the geosciences. Multiphase flow with phase change and complex phase behavior arises in numerous applications, including enhanced oil recovery, steam injection in groundwater remediation, geologic CO2 storage and enhanced geothermal energy systems. A challenge of multiphase compositional simulation is that the number of existing phases varies with position and time, and thus the number of state variables in the saturation-based conservation laws is a function of space and time. The tasks of phase-state identification and determination of the composition of the different phases are performed assuming local thermodynamic equilibrium.

Here we investigate a thermodynamically consistent formulation for non-isothermal two-phase flow, in systems where the hypothesis of instantaneous local equilibrium does not hold. Non-equilibrium effects are important in coarse-scale simulations where the assumption of complete mixing in each gridblock is not realistic. We apply our model to steam injection in water-saturated porous media.