- Experimental, Computational & Analytical Fluid Dynamics
- Non-Newtonian Fluid Flows
- Hydrodynamic Instability
- Microfluidics & Nanofluidics
- Multiphase, Displacements, Suspensions, Buoyant and Coating Flows
Gas migration in viscoplastic fluids:
Currently in my Postdoctoral research at UBC, and in collaboration with Ph.D. student M. Zare,
I am working on the fundamental topic of gas bubble movement in a viscoplastic bed with intentions to resolve the gas-migration problem in cemented oil & gas wells.
After drilling oil & gas wells, the annulus section between the production casing and rock formation is cemented using cement slurry. The slurry is then left to set and solidify. In this stage of the process gas may enter the cemented annulus creating channels that provide an undesirable flow path of the reservoir fluids including hydrocarbons into the wellbore and near-surface environment. My aim is to study this problem experimentally, computationally and analytically in order to finally design the cement slurry fluid such that it minimizes the gas intrusion from formation into the wellbore. This will in return, decreases the environmental impacts and increases the well productivity.
The figure shows the experimental snapshot of a gas bubble being injected into a viscoplastic fluid, mimicking the formation gas migration towards the cement slurry.
Figure: Experimental snapshot of gas injection into a viscoplastic fluid.
Displacement flows in inclined ducts
I am also studying the problem of displacing one fluid by another in inclined geometries.
The industrial motivation for this research comes from the processes present in construction and completion of oil & gas wells such as primary cementing,
hydraulic fracturing and gravel packing. Many other wells such as geothermal, Carbon sequestration and domestic water distribution wells
are cemented using the very same techniques as in the oil & gas industry. A key objective in well primary cementing is to hydraulically
seal the newly constructed well in order to avoid leakage of subsurface fluids into the near-surface ecosystem. In collaboration with Ph.D.
student A. Etrati and undergraduate students A. Gosselin and S. Dong I aim to study these flows experimentally, numerically and analytically to
finally design the displacement processes more efficiently. This in turn will reduce the environmental impact and increase the well productivity.
Figure 2: Snapshots of the displacement flow at different inclination angles: a) Experiments in pipe b) Simulations in channel. The arrows indicate the flow direction.
- K. Alba, S.M. Taghavi, and I.A. Frigaard. Weighted residual method for two-layer non-Newtonian channel flows. J. Fluid Mech. 731, (2013), 509-544
- K. Alba, S.M. Taghavi, J.R. de Bruyn and I.A. Frigaard. Incomplete fluid-fluid displacement of yield-stress fluids. Part 2: Highly inclined pipes. J. non-Newton. Fluid Mech. 201, (2013), 80-93
- K. Alba, S.M. Taghavi, and I.A. Frigaard. Miscible density unstable displacement flows in inclined tube. Phys. Fluids 25, (2013), 067101-21 (featured in Physics of Fluids' Research Highlights)
- K. Alba, S.M. Taghavi, and I.A. Frigaard. Miscible density stable displacement flows in inclined tube. Phys. Fluids 24, (2012), 123102-11
- M. Moyers-Gonzalez, K. Alba, S.M. Taghavi and I.A. Frigaard. A semi-analytical closure approximation for pipe flows of two Herschel-Bulkley fluids with a stratified interface. J. Non-Newton. Fluid Mech. 193, (2012), 49-67
- S.M. Taghavi, K. Alba, T. Seon, K. Wielage-Burchard, D.M. Martinez and I.A. Frigaard. Miscible displacement flows in near-horizontal ducts at low Atwood number. J. Fluid Mech. 696, (2012), 175-214
- S.M. Taghavi, K. Alba, M. Moyers-Gonzalez and I.A. Frigaard. Incomplete fluid-fluid displacement of yield stress fluids in near-horizontal pipes: experiments and theory. J. non-Newton. Fluid Mech. 167-168, (2012), 59-74
- S.M. Taghavi, K. Alba and I.A. Frigaard. Buoyant miscible displacement flows at moderate viscosity ratios and low Atwood numbers in near-horizontal ducts. Chem. Eng. Sci. 69, (2012), 404-418
- K. Alba, P. Laure and R.E. Khayat. Transient two-layer thin-film flow inside a channel. Phys. Rev. E 84, (2011), 026320-14
- K. Alba, R.E. Khayat and R.S. Pandher. Steady two-layer gravity-driven thin-film flow. Phys. Rev. E 77, (2008), 056304-16
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