fluid flow Porous Media review article Two-Phase Flow

A Brief Review of Capillary Number and its Use in Capillary Desaturation Curves

H. Guo, K. Song, R. Hilfer

Transport in Porous Media 144, 3-31 (2022)

submitted on
Monday, August 9, 2021

Capillary number, understood as the ratio of viscous force to capillary force, is one of the most important parameters in enhanced oil recovery (EOR). It continues to attract the interest of scientists and engineers, because the nature and quantification of macroscopic capillary forces remains controversial. At least 41 different capillary numbers have been collected here from the literature. The ratio of viscous and capillary force enters crucially into capillary desaturation experiments. Although the ratio is length scale dependent, not all definitions of capillay number depend on length scale, indicating potential inconsistencies between various applications and publications. Recently, new numbers have appeared and the subject continues to be actively discussed. Therefore, a short review seems appropriate and pertinent.

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