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DSSS: Experimental Microfluidics to Improve Mechanistic Understanding of Two-Phase Flow

May 6, 2016 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm


Anthony Kovscek, Energy Resources Engineering, Stanford University

Hosted by Shibo Wang

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Tony Kovscek is the Keleen and Carlton Beal Professor of Petroleum Engineering at Stanford University where he joined the faculty in 1996 as an Assistant Professor. He Kovscek holds B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington and University of California at Berkeley, respectively. Kovscek has been honored with the Lester C. Uren Award in 2015 and the Distinguished Achievement Award for Faculty from the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) in 2006. Additionally, he received  the Stanford School of Earth Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1997, the SPE Western North America Region Technical Achievement Award in 2005, and he was the inaugural Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) Distinguished Lecturer in Carbon Sequestration in 2008. From 2009 to 2012, he served as the Executive Editor of SPE Journal.


The physical mechanisms of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) are more complicated and less understood in comparison to primary and secondary recovery mechanisms.  Nevertheless, accurate and highly calibrated simulation models are needed to make decisions about field development and investments. Although experimental results at all scales are used to develop such models, fluid flow ultimately occurs through the pore and fracture networks of rocks, sands, and shales. Hence, pore-scale flow is often the smallest scale considered.  This talk focuses on pore-scale and macroscopic-scale results obtained using etched silicon micromodels. Such micromodels have the pore network pattern of a rock or idealized medium etched into a silicon wafer. Geometrical properties of grains and pore-wall roughness are similar to actual rock. Importantly, these micromodels permit direct, high-magnification, time-lapse observations of fluid movement through pores. Experimental results relevant to a variety of EOR processes are reported including polymer flooding, foam flow in fractures, and water-alternating gas mobility control. Extensions to current research and data analysis are also featured including particle tracking/imaging velocimetery, direct numerical simulation of pore scale flows, and functionalization of micromodel surfaces with clay.


Distinguished Scientist Seminar Series Committee




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