DEM-LBM simulation of stress-dependent absolute and relative permeabilities in porous media

Jingwei Huang, Feng Xiao, Carlos Labra, Jin Sun, Xiaolong Yin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this work, stress-dependent absolute and relative permeabilites in porous media are studied using the discrete element method and lattice Boltzmann method. The change of absolute permeability and porosity during compaction is found follow a power-law relation. The stress-dependent absolute permeability in homogeneous pack is in agreement with the prediction of Carman-Kozeny equation. Porosity exponent is increased due to the existence of vugs but is decreased with fractures. Relative permeability, on the other hand, is found not only affected by pore structure of compacted media, but also properties of fluids and rock surface. Our simulations indicate that relative permeability of wetting phase increases slightly with increasing stress, due to the formation of more continuous pathways. Relative permeability of non-wetting phase, however, either increases or decreases depending on viscosity ratio and capillary number. It is found that lubrication effects play an important role in the stress sensitivity of relative permeability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116633
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Early online date30 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2021


  • Stress sensitivity
  • Absolute/relative permeability
  • Lubrication effects


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