Our group uses numerical simulations and experiments to study multiphase flows and fluid properties. Many of our work are carried out in collaboration with the Energy Modeling Group (EMG) and the Unconventional Reservoir Engineering Project (UREP) consortium. I am an affiliated faculty of EMG and a co-director of UREP.
Particle-laden flow is an important type of industrial multiphase flows. Particle size ranges from sub-micrometer (aerosols) to tens of micrometers (powders) to millimeters (proppants and drill cuttings). The suspending fluid can be gas, liquid, or non-Newtonian fluids. The complex interplay between fluids and particles generates significant challenges in understanding and modeling of the system.
Flow through porous media is another important class of multiphase flows. In porous media, the solid phase is fixed and continuous; however, it leaves a continuous pore space to allow fluids to flow through. Fluid flow is typically driven by pressure and capillary forces. In very small pores, fluid motion is also affected by fluid-surface interactions and can be generated by gradients in temperature and chemical potential. Pore fluids can carry solutes or colloids along with them. Flow through porous media has significant applications in petroleum reservoir engineering, groundwater hydrology, contaminant transport, and filtration.
Research of reservoir fluid properties includes of measurements and modeling of density and viscosity of fluids as well as phase behavior and interfacial tension. Traditionally, these properties were measured for bulk fluids in the absence of porous media. As oil and gas confined in tight rocks become viable and critical resources, the effect of confinement on fluid properties become important topics.