Mixing of two binary nonequilibrium phases in one dimension



The mixing of nonequilibrium phases has important applications in improved oil recovery and geological CO2-storage. The rate of mixing is often controlled by diffusion and modeling requires diffusion coefficients at subsurface temperature and pressure. High-pressure diffusion coefficients are commonly inferred from changes in bulk properties as two phases equilibrate in a PVT cell. However, models relating measured quantities to diffusion coefficients usually ignore convective mass transport. This work presents a comprehensive model of mixing of two nonequilibrium binary phases in one-dimension. Mass transport due to bulk velocity triggered by compressibility and nonideality is taken into account. Ignoring this phenomenon violates local mass balance and does not allow for changes in phase volumes. Simulations of two PVT cell experiments show that models ignoring bulk velocity may significantly overestimate the diffusion coefficients. © 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2009