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Exploring Pore-Scale Fluid Flow Using Dynamic Micro-CT

The study of fluid migration through porous media is essential for understanding various natural and industrial processes. These include the infiltration of rainwater into soil, the mobility of hydrocarbons in reservoirs, and the storage of e.g. carbon dioxide or hydrogen in subsurface reservoirs. The flow of fluids through the pore spaces in rocks and soils (permeability) is influenced by the size and shape of the pores, pore connectivity, the rock or soil’s mineralogy, and the fluid properties.

Advancements in micro-CT imaging have enabled scientists to observe these complex interactions at the pore scale. The TESCAN dynamic micro-CT systems, in particular, have provided new insights into the subsurface world by bringing real-time pore-scale imaging from synchrotrons to the lab. 
In the example described in this application note, we utilized a synthetic porous sintered glass sample to study the flow of multiple fluids. The experimental setup included an X-ray transparent core holder allowing the injection and perculation of fluids and observation within the sample, placed on the rotation stage of the TESCAN UniTOM XL. The experiment revealed the displacement of the wetting phase by non-wetting phases through rapid pore-filling events known as Haines jumps.

Core holder with sintered glass sampel on the rotation stage of the TESCAN UniTOM XL

Figure: Core holder with sintered glass sample on the rotation stage of the TESCAN UniTOM XL.

These findings have significant implications for natural resource management and addressing environmental challenges. A deeper understanding of pore-scale flow can lead to improved strategies for environmental sustainability initiatives such as hydrogen storage and carbon sequestration.




Visit info.tescan.com/micro-CT for more info on TESCAN micro-CT or download a brochure for more information on TESCAN UniTOM XL.