Inert Carbon Nanoparticles for the Assessment of Preferential Flow in Saturated Dual-Permeability Porous Media

Chuanjin Yao, Yushi Zhao, Guanglun Lei, Tammo S. Steenhuis, Lawrence M. Cathles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Knowledge of preferential flow in heterogeneous environments is essential for enhanced hydrocarbon recovery, geothermal energy extraction, and successful sequestration of chemical waste and carbon dioxide. Dual tracer tests using nanoparticles with a chemical tracer could indicate the preferential flow. A dual-permeability model with a high permeable core channel surrounded by a low permeable annulus was constructed and used to determine the viability of an inert carbon nanoparticle tracer for this application. A series of column experiments were conducted to demonstrate how this nanoparticle tracer can be used to implement the dual tracer tests in heterogeneous environments. The results indicate that, with the injection rate selected and controlled appropriately, nanoparticles together with a chemical tracer can assess the preferential flow in heterogeneous environments. The results also implement the dual tracer tests in heterogeneous environments by simultaneously injecting chemical and nanoparticle tracers.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7365-7374
Number of pages10
JournalIndustrial & Engineering Chemistry Research
Volume56
Issue number25
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2017
Externally publishedYes

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