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Three-dimensional cleat scale modelling of gas transport processes in deformable fractured coal reservoirs

Chen, Min, Masum, Shakil A. ORCID: and Thomas, Hywel R. ORCID: 2023. Three-dimensional cleat scale modelling of gas transport processes in deformable fractured coal reservoirs. Gas Science and Engineering 110 , 204901. 10.1016/j.jgsce.2023.204901

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To understand the flow processes in naturally fractured coal reservoirs, a 3D numerical model for coupled gas flow, adsorption and deformation at the scale of coal cleat and matrix blocks is presented in this study. A discrete fracture matrix (DFM) modelling approach has been adopted where flow patterns in fractures and matrices are described separately and explicitly. Different from previous studies in which constant diffusion coefficient, equilibrium adsorption and lumped deformation of matrix and fracture are assumed, in this study, adsorbed gases are treated as an independent phase and the mass exchange process between free phase and adsorbed phase is described using the Langmuir kinetic model. Different gas transport mechanisms in a porous coal matrix are considered for both phase gas transport. Particularly, an equivalent poroelastic continuum model is applied to represent deformation of fracture-matrix system, in which impacts of fracture deformation on the bulk matrix-fracture deformation is accounted for. The hybrid dimensional elements have been employed to discretize the governing equations where fractures are discretized using lower-dimensional interface elements. The accuracy of developed model is validated against experimental results collected from literatures. The simulation results indicate that the gas diffusion process in coal matrices is pressure dependent, surface diffusion of adsorbed gas can contribute to the bulk gas diffusion in coal matrices. Individual cleat initially exhibits a slight opening, followed by significant closure due to adsorption-induced swelling. Ignoring the effect of fracture on bulk deformation, the aperture change is overestimated.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
ISSN: 2949-9089
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 31 January 2023
Date of Acceptance: 18 January 2023
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2024 08:09

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