Observations of gas flow in porous media using the light transmission technique Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/pv63g435s

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  • A novel technique was developed for studying gas phase flow in unsaturated porous media. Carbon dioxide was pumped through a back-lit chamber packed with translucent sand which was variably saturated with water containing the pH indicator dye methyl red. As the carbon dioxide dissolved in the pore water, lowering the pH and changing the dye color, a CCD camera captured images of the resultant changes in transmitted light. These digital image files were then processed using a series of calibrated steps to relate light intensity to dye attenuation, dye attenuation to solution pH, and solution pH to aqueous and gaseous carbon dioxide concentration. The final product was a series of false-color images showing the development of the gaseous carbon dioxide plume. Mass balance analysis of these images demonstrated several instances in which this method does not accurately predict carbon dioxide concentration due to, among other factors, sorption of the methyl red dye to the sand and changes in optical properties between sand textures. However, the technique does afford the researcher an opportunity to observe carbon dioxide flow in response to textural and liquid heterogeneities. With refinement, this technique may prove to be a useful tool in studying the complexities of gas phase transport.
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