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Pore-Scale Imaging and Modelling of Reactive Flow in Evolving Porous Media: Tracking the Dynamics of the Fluid–Rock Interface

Abstract : Fluid–mineral and fluid–rock interfaces are key parameters controlling the reactivity and fate of fluids in reservoir rocks and aquifers. The interface dynamics through space and time results from complex processes involving a tight coupling between chemical reactions and transport of species as well as a strong dependence on the physical, chemical, mineralogical and structural properties of the reacting solid phases. In this article, we review the recent advances in pore-scale imaging and reactive flow modelling applied to interface dynamics. Digital rocks derived from time-lapse X-ray micro-tomography imaging gives unprecedented opportunity to track the interface evolution during reactive flow experiments in porous or fractured media, and evaluate locally mineral reactivity. The recent improvements in pore-scale reactive transport modelling allow for a fine description of flow and transport that integrates moving fluid–mineral interfaces inherent to chemical reactions. Combined with three-dimensional digital images, pore-scale reactive transport modelling complements and augments laboratory experiments. The most advanced multi-scale models integrate sub-voxel porosity and processes which relate to imaging instrument resolution and improve upscaling possibilities. Two example applications based on the solver porousMedia4Foam illustrate the dynamics of the interface for different transport regimes (i.e., diffusive- to advective-dominant) and rock matrix properties (i.e., permeable vs. impermeable, and homogeneous vs. polymineralic). These parameters affect both the interface roughness and its geometry evolution, from sharp front to smeared (i.e., diffuse) interface. The paper concludes by discussing the challenges associated with precipitation processes in porous media, rock texture and composition (i.e., physical and mineralogical heterogeneity), and upscaling to larger scales.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - 3:33:35 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 12:33:30 PM

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Catherine Noiriel, Cyprien Soulaine. Pore-Scale Imaging and Modelling of Reactive Flow in Evolving Porous Media: Tracking the Dynamics of the Fluid–Rock Interface. Transport in Porous Media, Springer Verlag, 2021, 140 (181–213), ⟨10.1007/s11242-021-01613-2⟩. ⟨insu-03238325⟩

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