## Electrokinetic coupling in unsaturated porous media

Description:
We consider a charged porous material that is saturated bytwo fluid phases that are immiscible and continuous on the scale of arepresentative elementary volume. The wetting phase for the grains iswater and the nonwetting phase is assumed to be an electricallyinsulating viscous fluid. We use a volume-averaging approach to derivethe linear constitutive equations for the electrical current density aswell as the seepage velocities of the wetting and nonwetting phases onthe scale of a representative elementary volume. These macroscopicconstitutive equations are obtained by volume-averaging Ampere's lawtogether with the Nernst Planck equation and the Stokes equations. Thematerial properties entering the macroscopic constitutive equations areexplicitly described as functions of the saturation of the water phase,the electrical formation factor, and parameters that describe thecapillary pressure function, the relative permeability function, and thevariation of electrical conductivity with saturation. New equations arederived for the streaming potential and electro-osmosis couplingcoefficients. A primary drainage and imbibition experiment is simulatednumerically to demonstrate that the relative streaming potential couplingcoefficient depends not only on the water saturation, but also on thematerial properties of the sample, as well as the saturation history. Wealso compare the predicted streaming potential coupling coefficients withexperimental data from four dolomite core samples. Measurements on thesesamples include electrical conductivity, capillary pressure, thestreaming potential coupling coefficient at various level of saturation,and the permeability at saturation of the rock samples. We found verygood agreement between these experimental data and the modelpredictions.

Date:
February 27, 2007

Creator:
Revil, A.; Linde, N.; Cerepi, A.; Jougnot, D.; Matthai, S. & Finsterle, S.

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