Energy & Fuels, Vol.34, No.1, 82-94, 2020
A New Method for Pore Structure Quantification and Pore Network Extraction from SEM Images
The structure of porous media is complex yet fundamental to the understanding of transport processes, including single and multiphase fluid flow. Pore network modeling is a valuable tool for studying these processes in many diverse porous media. This paper presents a new method of discretizing the pore space into connected pore elements which capture the pore geometry and topology. This method discards the difference between pore bodies and throats; instead, it treats them equally as pore elements that capture the features of pore structure from the widest to the narrowest part of the pore space (pore body to pore throat), honors the topology, and does not oversegment the pore space. The method is a higher-level discretization of the pore space, compared to other traditional methods, which construct pore throats explicitly. Pore networks were extracted from three test images using the method and the computed flow properties are compared with finite element simulation, in terms of absolute permeability. A reasonable agreement with finite element simulation is achieved, demonstrating the value and functionality of the new pore structure quantification method.