fluid flow Simulations

Lattice-Boltzmann and finite-difference simulations for the permeability of three-dimensional porous media

C. Manwart, U. Aaltosalmi, A. Koponen, R. Hilfer, J. Timonen

Physical Review E 66, 016702 (2002)

submitted on
Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Numerical micropermeametry is performed on three-dimensional porous samples having a linear size of approximately 3 mm and a resolution of 7.5 micrometer. One of the samples is a microtomographic image of Fontainebleau sandstone. Two of the samples are stochastic reconstructions with the same porosity, specific surface area, and two-point correlation function as the Fontainebleau sample. The fourth sample is a physical model that mimics the processes of sedimentation, compaction, and diagenesis of Fontainebleau sandstone. The permeabilities of these samples are determined by numerically solving at low Reynolds numbers the appropriate Stokes equations in the pore spaces of the samples. The physical diagenesis model appears to reproduce the permeability of the real sandstone sample quite accurately, while the permeabilities of the stochastic reconstructions deviate from the latter by at least an order of magnitude. This finding confirms earlier qualitative predictions based on local porosity theory. Two numerical algorithms were used in these simulations. One is based on the lattice-Boltzmann method, and the other on conventional finite-difference techniques. The accuracy of these two methods is discussed and compared, also with experiment.

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