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Measurement of interfacial area from NMR time dependent diffusion and relaxation measurements

Abstract : The interfacial area between two immiscible phases in porous media is an important parameter for describing and predicting 2 phase flow. Although present in several models, experimental investigations are sparse due to the lack of appropriate measurement techniques. We propose two NMR techniques for the measurement of oil-water interfacial area: (i) a time dependent NMR diffusion technique applicable in static conditions, similar to those used for the measurement of the solid specific surface of a porous media, and (ii) a fast relaxation technique applicable in dynamic conditions while flowing, based on an interfacial relaxation mechanism induced by the inclusion of paramagnetic salts in the water phase. For dodecane relaxing on doped water, we found an oil interfacial relaxivity of 1.8 μm/s, large enough to permit the measurement of specific interfacial surface as small as 1000 cm2/cm3. We demonstrate both NMR techniques in drainage followed by imbibition, in a model porous media with a narrow pore size distribution. While flowing, we observe that the interfacial area is larger in imbibition than in drainage, implying a different organization of the oil phase. In a carbonate sample with a wide pore size distribution, we evidence the gradual invasion of the smallest pores as the oil-water pressure difference is increased.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 4:16:20 PM
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Marc Fleury. Measurement of interfacial area from NMR time dependent diffusion and relaxation measurements. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Elsevier, 2018, 509, pp.495 - 501. ⟨10.1016/j.jcis.2017.09.024⟩. ⟨hal-01702327⟩



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