Pore-level mechanics of foam generation and coalescence in the presence of oil
ADVANCES IN COLLOID AND INTERFACE SCIENCE
2016; 233: 65-82
The stability of foam in porous media is extremely important for realizing the advantages of foamed gas on gas mobility reduction. Foam texture (i.e., bubbles per volume of gas) achieved is dictated by foam generation and coalescence processes occurring at the pore-level. For foam injection to be widely applied during gas injection projects, we need to understand these pore-scale events that lead to foam stability/instability so that they are modeled accurately. Foam flow has been studied for decades, but most efforts focused on studying foam generation and coalescence in the absence of oil. Here, the extensive existing literature is reviewed and analyzed to identify open questions. Then, we use etched-silicon micromodels to observe foam generation and coalescence processes at the pore-level. Special emphasis is placed on foam coalescence in the presence of oil. For the first time, lamella pinch-off as described by Myers and Radke  is observed in porous media and documented. Additionally, a new mechanism coined "hindered generation" is found. Hindered generation refers to the role oil plays in preventing the successful formation of a lamella following snap-off near a pore throat.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cis2015.10.008
View details for Web of Science ID 000379564300005
View details for PubMedID 26548502