A comprehensive review of pore scale modeling methodologies for multiphase flow in porous media

Amir Golparvar, Yingfang Zhou*, Kejian Wu, Jingsheng Ma, Zhixin Yu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Citations (Scopus)


Multiphase flow in porous media is relevant to amount of engineering processes, such as hydrocarbon extraction from reservoir rock, water contamination, CO2 geological storage and sequestration. Pore scale modeling, as an alternative approach to lab measurement, firstly serves as an effective bridge to link the pore scale properties (pore geometry and wettability) and displacement mechanisms to continuous scale multiphase flow in porous media; and secondly allows us to determine essential flow functions, such as capillary pressure and relative permeability curves, which are required for continuous scale modeling. In the literature, three methodologies, bundle of sapillary tube modeling, direct pore scale modeling and pore network modeling, have appeared to be mostly widely adopted in the investigation of the pore-scale mechanics of fluid-fluid and fluidsolid interactions in porous media by numerical simulation. In this review article, a comprehensive review is provided to show their strengths and weaknesses and to highlight challenges that are faced in modelling of multiphase flow, key challenges include: Are contact angle characterization, validation and upscale pore scale findings to core, or even field scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-440
Number of pages23
JournalAdvances in Geo-Energy Research
Issue number4
Early online date28 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Mr. Amir Golparvar would like to thank the support from Elphinstone Scholarships. Dr. Yingfang Zhou would like to thank Royal Society to support his travel in China through Royal Society International Exchange Programmes (RG13511)

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.


  • bundle of capillary tube modeling
  • direct pore scale modeling
  • Multiphase flow
  • pore network modeling
  • pore scale modeling


Dive into the research topics of 'A comprehensive review of pore scale modeling methodologies for multiphase flow in porous media'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this