Data_Sheet_1_Determination of the Effective Viscosity of Non-newtonian Fluids Flowing Through Porous (93.38 kB)

Data_Sheet_1_Determination of the Effective Viscosity of Non-newtonian Fluids Flowing Through Porous

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posted on 30.05.2019 by Ursin Eberhard, Hansjoerg J. Seybold, Marius Floriancic, Pascal Bertsch, Joaquin Jiménez-Martínez, José S. Andrade, Markus Holzner

When non-Newtonian fluids flow through porous media, the topology of the pore space leads to a broad range of flow velocities and shear rates. Consequently, the local viscosity of the fluid also varies in space with a non-linear dependence on the Darcy velocity. Therefore, an effective viscosity μeff is usually used to describe the flow at the Darcy scale. For most non-Newtonian flows the rheology of the fluid can be described by a (non linear) function of the shear rate. Current approaches estimate the effective viscosity by first calculating an effective shear rate mainly by adopting a power-law model for the rheology and including an empirical correction factor. In a second step this averaged shear rate is used together with the real rheology of the fluid to calculate μeff. In this work, we derive a semi-analytical expression for the local viscosity profile using a Carreau type fluid, which is a more broadly applicable model than the power-law model. By solving the flow equations in a circular cross section of a capillary we are able to calculate the average viscous resistance 〈μ〉 directly as a spatial average of the local viscosity. This approach circumvents the use of classical capillary bundle models and allows to upscale the viscosity distribution in a pore with a mean pore size to the Darcy scale. Different from commonly used capillary bundle models, the presented approach does neither require tortuosity nor permeability as input parameters. Consequently, our model only uses the characteristic length scale of the porous media and does not require empirical coefficients. The comparison of the proposed model with flow cell experiments conducted in a packed bed of monodisperse spherical beads shows, that our approach performs well by only using the physical rheology of the fluid, the porosity and the estimated mean pore size, without the need to determine an effective shear rate. The good agreement of our model with flow experiments and existing models suggests that the mean viscosity 〈μ〉 is a good estimate for the effective Darcy viscosity μeff providing physical insight into upscaling of non-Newtonian flows in porous media.