Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Streamline-Based Simulation of Nanoparticle Transport in Field-Scale Heterogeneous Subsurface Systems

Version 1 : Received: 13 September 2020 / Approved: 13 September 2020 / Online: 13 September 2020 (16:03:33 CEST)

How to cite: Wang, B.; Feng, Y.; Blears, J.; Thompson, K.; Hughes, R. Streamline-Based Simulation of Nanoparticle Transport in Field-Scale Heterogeneous Subsurface Systems. Preprints 2020, 2020090295 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202009.0295.v1). Wang, B.; Feng, Y.; Blears, J.; Thompson, K.; Hughes, R. Streamline-Based Simulation of Nanoparticle Transport in Field-Scale Heterogeneous Subsurface Systems. Preprints 2020, 2020090295 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202009.0295.v1).

Abstract

Nanoparticle (NP) transport is increasingly relevant to subsurface engineering applications such as aquifer characterization, fracture electromagnetic imaging and environmental remediation. An efficient field-scale simulation framework is critical for predicting NP performance and designing subsurface applications. In this work, for the first time, a streamline-based model is presented to simulate NP transport in field-scale subsurface systems. It considers a series of behaviors exhibited by engineered nanoparticles (NPs), including time-triggered encapsulation, retention, formation damage effects and variable nanofluid viscosity. The key methods employed by the algorithm are streamline-based simulation (SLS) and an operator-splitting (OS) technique for modeling NP transport. SLS has proven to be efficient for solving transport in large and heterogeneous systems, where the pressure and velocity fields are firstly solved on underlying grids using finite-difference (FD) methods. After tracing streamlines, one-dimensional (1D) NP transport is solved independently along each streamline. The adoption of OS enhances flexibility for the entire solution procedure by allowing different numerical schemes to solve different governing equations efficiently and accurately. For the NP transport model, an explicit FD scheme is used to solve the advection term, an implicit FD scheme is used for the diffusion term and an adaptive numerical integration is used to solve the retention terms. The model is implemented in an in-house streamline-based code, which is verified against analytical solutions, a commercial FD reservoir simulator (ECLIPSE) and an academic FD colloid transport code (MNMs). For a 1D homogeneous case, the effluent breakthrough curves (BTC) produced by the in-house simulator are in good agreement with the analytical solution and MNMs, respectively. For a two-dimensional (2D) heterogeneous case, the BTC and concentration pattern of the in-house simulator all match well with the solution produced by commercial simulator. Simulations on a synthetic three-dimensional (3D) nanocapsule application engineering design case, are performed to investigate the effect of fluid and NP properties on the displacement pattern of an existing subsurface fluid.

Subject Areas

Streamline-based simulation; Nanoparticle transport; Reservoir simulation; Field-scale simulation

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