Spontaneous imbibition characteristics of diatomite

Akın, Serhat
Bhat, S.K.
Kovscek, A.R.
A systematic investigation of fluid flow characteristics within diatomite (a high porosity, low permeability, siliceous rock) is reported. Using an X-ray computerized tomography (CT) scanner, and a novel, CT-compatible imbibition cell, we study spontaneous cocurrent water imbibition into diatomite samples. Air–water and oil–water systems are used and the initial water saturation is variable. Mercury porosimetry and a scanning electron microscope (SEM) are employed to describe diatomite pore structure and the rock framework. Diatomite exhibits a fine pore structure and significant pore-level roughness relative to sandstone thereby aiding the flow of imbibing water. Despite a marked difference in permeability and porosity as compared to sandstone, we find similar trends in saturation profiles and dimensionless weight gain vs. time functions. Although diatomite is roughly 100 times less permeable than sandstone, capillary forces result in a strong imbibition potential for water such that imbibition rates rival and surpass those for sandstone
Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering


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Citation Formats
S. Akın, S. K. Bhat, and A. R. Kovscek, “Spontaneous imbibition characteristics of diatomite,” Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, pp. 149–165, 2000, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/43245.