A Many-Body Dissipative Particle Dynamics Study of Forced Water-Oil Displacement in Capillary

C Chen and L Zhuang and XF Li and JF Dong and JT Lu, LANGMUIR, 28, 1330-1336 (2012).

DOI: 10.1021/la204207s

The forced water-oil displacement in capillary is a model that has important applications such as the ground-water remediation and the oil recovery. Whereas it is difficult for experimental studies to observe the displacement process in a capillary at nanoscale, the computational simulation is a unique approach in this regard. In the present work, the many-body dissipative particle dynamics (MDFD) method is employed to simulate the process of water-oil displacement in capillary with external force applied by a piston. As the property of all interfaces involved in this system can be manipulated independently, the dynamic displacement process is studied systematically under various conditions of distinct wettability of water in capillary and miscibility between water and oil as well as of different external forces. By analyzing the dependence of the starting force on the properties of water/capillary and water/oil interfaces, we find that there exist two different modes of the water-oil displacement. In the case of stronger water-oil interaction, the water particles cannot displace those oil particles sticking to the capillary wall, leaving a low oil recovery efficiency. To minimize the residual oil content in capillary, enhancing the wettability of water and reducing the external force will be beneficial. This simulation study provides microscopic insights into the water-oil displacement process in capillary and guiding information for relevant applications.

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