Effect of Nanoparticles on Spontaneous Imbibition of Water into Ultraconfined Reservoir Capillary by Molecular Dynamics Simulation

X Wang and SB Xiao and ZL Zhang and JY He, ENERGIES, 10, 506 (2017).

DOI: 10.3390/en10040506

Imbibition is one of the key phenomena underlying processes such as oil recovery and others. In this paper, the influence of nanoparticles on spontaneous water imbibition into ultraconfined channels is investigated by molecular dynamics simulation. By combining the dynamic process of imbibition, the water contact angle in the capillary and the relationship of displacement (l) and time (t), a competitive mechanism of nanoparticle effects on spontaneous imbibition is proposed. The results indicate that the addition of nanoparticles decreases the displacement of fluids into the capillary dramatically, and the relationship between displacement and time can be described by l(t) similar to t(1/2). Based on the analysis of the dynamic contact angle and motion behavior of nanoparticles, for water containing hydrophobic nanoparticles, the displacement decreases with the decrease of hydrophobicity, and the properties of fluids, such as viscosity and surface tension, play a major role. While for hydrophilic nanoparticles, the displacement of fluids increases slightly with the increase of hydrophilicity in the water-wet capillary and simulation time, which can be ascribed to disjoining pressure induced by "sticking nanoparticles". This study provides new insights into the complex interactions between nanoparticles and other components in nanofluids in the spontaneous imbibition, which is crucially important to enhanced oil recovery.

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