Microfluidics for Carbonate Rock Improved Oil Recovery: Some Lessons from Fabrication, Operation, and Image Analysis

Michel H.G. Duits*, Duy Ahn Le, Subhash C. Ayirala, Mohammed B. Alotaibi, Han Gardeniers, Ali A. Yousef, Frieder Mugele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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After the successful implementation of lab-on- a- chip technology in chemical and biomedical applications, the field of petroleum engineering is currently developing microfluidics as a platform to complement traditional coreflooding experiments. Potentially, microfluidics can offer a fast, efficient, low-footprint, and low-cost method to screen many variables such as injection brine composition, reservoir temperature, and aging history for their effect on crude oil (CRO) release, calcite dissolution, and CO2 storage at the pore scale. Generally, visualization of the fluid displacements is possible, offering valuable mechanistic information. Besides the well-known glass- and silicon-based chips, microfluidic devices mimicking carbonate rock reservoirs are currently being developed as well. In this paper, we discuss different fabrication approaches for carbonate micromodels and their associated applications. One approach in which a glass micromodel is partially functionalized with calcite nanoparticles is discussed in more detail. Both the published works from several research groups and new experimental data from the authors are used to highlight the current capabilities, limitations, and possible extensions of microfluidics for studying carbonate rock systems. The presented insights and reflections should be very helpful in guiding the future designs of microfluidics and subsequent research studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberSPE-213465-PA
JournalSPE journal
Early online date29 Sept 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 29 Sept 2023


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