Pore-Scale Investigation of Dynamic Immiscible Displacement in Layered Media using Synchrotron X-ray Microtomography

Minji Kim, Kue Young Kim, Jae Hong Lim, Chan Yeong Kim, Seob Gu Kim, Gidon Han, Weon Shik Han, Eungyu Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding the dynamics of immiscible fluid in a porous media is critical in many chemical and environmental engineering processes. However, the geological heterogeneity effect on multiphase flow behavior remains unclear. Here, the dynamics of immiscible fluid displacement and entrapment were experimentally demonstrated at pore-level using time-lapse synchrotron X-ray microtomography. A drainage-imbibition experiment was designed using an unconsolidated layered sand pack that comprised coarse sand and fine sand zones. There were significant differences between the two zones, with regard to the temporal variations in fluid saturation and morphological evolution of nonwetting fluid (oil) during imbibition. Highly connected oil clusters in the coarse zone broke up into many small fragments, whereas the cluster in the fine zone remained connected while spanning multiple pores. To further understand the impacts of pore size and connectivity on multiphase fluid dynamics, a new approach that tracks the temporal variation of immiscible fluid in individual pores was conducted. The surface area at the oil–water interface increased during imbibition, which is expected to facilitate mass transfer and surface interactions. Understanding immiscible fluid displacement in layered porous media at the pore-level could lead to more effective environmental remediation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-292
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan 4

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Research Project of the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT; the Korea Environment Industry; Technology Institute (KEITI) through the Subsurface Environment Management (SEM) Project, funded by the Ministry of Environment (2018002440004). The authors also appreciate the support by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education [project number: 2016R1D1A1B01008715].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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