Microfluidic and nanofluidic phase behaviour characterization for industrial CO2, oil and gas
Microfluidic systems that leverage unique micro-scale phenomena have been developed to provide rapid, accurate and robust analysis, predominantly for biomedical applications. These attributes, in addition to the ability to access high temperatures and pressures, have motivated recent expanded applications in phase measurements relevant to industrial CO2, oil and gas applications. We here present a comprehensive review of this exciting new field, separating microfluidic and nanofluidic approaches. Microfluidics is practical, and provides similar phase properties analysis to established bulk methods with advantages in speed, control and sample size. Nanofluidic phase behaviour can deviate from bulk measurements, which is of particular relevance to emerging unconventional oil and gas production from nanoporous shale. In short, microfluidics offers a practical, compelling replacement of current bulk phase measurement systems, whereas nanofluidics is not practical, but uniquely provides insight into phase change phenomena at nanoscales. Challenges, trends and opportunities for phase measurements at both scales are highlighted.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Lab on a Chip Recent Review Articles