Characterization and Modeling of Multimechanistic Flow Behaviors from Nano- to Macro-scale in Shale Matrix

Project: Research project

Project Details


PI: Liu, Shimin

Proposal Number: 1438398

The focus of the proposed research in to study gas flow in tight pores, such as those found in shale formations. Flow, adsorption, desorption, slippage and deformation of the surrounding rock are proposed to be studied with both experiments and theory. This is a timely research project with implications in an area of critical importance for the economy and the energy production of the U.S. Results for the proposed work would be of benefit to the oil and gas production industry, to public policy makers and to carbon management entities. Accurate prediction of the flow of gases in shales is also important for developing CO2 sequestration strategies.

The goal of the proposed research is to advance fluid dynamics knowledge for flow through tight shales -- critical for shale gas production. There are multiple physical mechanisms that affect the flow, such as sorption, diffusion, advection, and sorption-induced organic matter deformation with the progressive decrease in reservoir pressure as the gas is produce. Experiments are proposed to quantify the characteristics of the flow and the interactions with the sorption-induced deformation of the pore organic matter. A series of laboratory and theoretical studies will be conducted that will include: pore structure characterization using small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and ultra-small-angle neutron scattering (USANS) instruments at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), which will provide reliable pore architecture for the subsequent flow measurement and modeling studies, sorption and diffusivity measurement at in situ conditions, sorption-induced deformation measurement, and apparent permeability measurement. The modeling effort would result to an apparent permeability model by considering sorption, diffusion and sorption-induced deformation, and would be validated by the measured experimental data. The educational plan centers on an interdisciplinary educational experience that will be offered to the graduate and undergraduate students involved. Educational efforts will be leveraged through the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program, which was funded by NSF to encourage underrepresented minority students in the STEM disciplines.

Effective start/end date7/1/146/30/18


  • National Science Foundation: $330,000.00


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