A High Performance Lattice Boltzmann Solver with Applications to Multiphase Flow in Porous Media

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Murakami, Margaret
Bakhshian, Sahar
Hosseini, Seyyed

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Multiphase flow is significant to many industrial processes such as the geologic storage of CO2 and oil recovery. Microscale simulation of flow in complex geological formations such as saline aquifers or oilfields is a complex and challenging task. The main goal of our study is to overcome high computational demand of multiphase flow simulations by using high performance computing. To model multiphase flow in porous media, we used a multiphase flow lattice Boltzmann (LB) method, which is recognized as an alternative to the classical computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods. The developed LB model used an extended Color-Gradient approach with improved numerical stability, and it can be used to compute multiphase flow simulations with low capillary number and high viscosity ratios. To optimize computational efficiency, we apply the LB model to a parallel scheme written in C++ using the Message Passing Interface (MPI). Highly parallel runs of these simulations were performed using the HPC system at the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas at Austin. We herein introduce the capability of our tool for multiphase flow simulation in porous media and present its application to CO2 sequestration in geological formations. The model has been applied to the simulation of CO2 and brine in sandstone rocks, by employing three-dimensional micro-CT images of rock samples. Injection of supercritical CO2 into the brine-saturated rock samples is simulated and complex displacement patterns under various reservoir conditions are identified.


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