International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol.129, 212-223, 2019
Effects of viscous dissipation on miscible thermo-viscous fingering instability in porous media
The thermo-viscous fingering instability associated with miscible displacement through a porous medium is studied numerically, motivated by applications in upstream oil industries especially enhanced oil recovery (EOR) via wells using hot water flooding and steam flooding. The main innovative aspect of this study is the inclusion of the effects of viscous dissipation on thermal viscous fingering instability. An Arrhenius equation of state is employed for describing the dependency of viscosity on temperature. The normalized conservation equations are solved with the finite element computational fluid dynamics code, COMSOL (Version 5) in which glycerol is considered as the solute and water as the solvent and the two-phase Darcy model employed (which couples the study Darcy flow equation with the time dependent convection-diffusion equation for the concentration). The progress of finger patterns is studied using concentration and temperature contours, transversely averaged profiles, mixing length and sweep efficiency. The sweep efficiency is a property widely used in industry to characterize how effective is displacement and it can be defined as the ratio of the volume of displaced fluid to the total volume of available fluid in a porous media in the displacement process. The effects of Lewis number, Brinkman number and thermal lag coefficient on this instability are examined in detail. The results indicate that increasing viscous dissipation generates significant enhancement in the temperature and a marked reduction in viscosity especially in the displaced fluid (high viscous phase). Therefore, the mobility ratio is reduced, and the flow becomes more stable in the presence of viscous dissipation. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.