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Fabrication of ceramic core plugs with multiscale porosity

Grant number: 20/16012-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2021
Effective date (End): February 29, 2024
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Mechanical Engineering - Manufacturing Processes
Principal researcher:Carlos Alberto Fortulan
Grantee:Mateus Mota Morais
Home Institution: Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos (EESC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

This project aims to develop an innovative manufacturing route to produce synthetic carbonate core plugs with controlled micro and macroporosity, mimicking natural rocks. Core plugs, cylindrical samples cut from rocks, are used to characterize the geological and petrophysical properties of a geological formation, such as an oil reservoir. They are also used to test new well-logging tools, study enhanced oil recovery technics, and develop and validate numerical models and simulations. However, natural carbonate samples are costly to obtain (economically and eventually ecologically) and extremely heterogeneous. Therefore, it is difficult to obtain reproducible and comparable experimental results using them, especially in destructive experiments that demand many samples. A possible solution is producing synthetic carbonate plugs that mimic natural rock chemistry with controlled porosity and permeability. However, two main challenges stand out: consolidate calcium carbonate without causing its decomposition during sintering; and produce a reproducible hierarchical porous structure. This research project proposes an innovative manufacturing process to produce synthetic carbonate plugs with controlled multiscale porosity in a reproducible manner. (AU)

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