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Optimizing Fluid Production From Porous Media: From Hydraulic Fractures to Plant Roots

[+] Author Affiliations
Yunhu Lu

China University of Petroleum (Beijing), Beijing, China

Sriram Chandrashekar, Kang Ping Chen

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Paper No. IMECE2016-65773, pp. V009T12A054; 6 pages
  • ASME 2016 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 9: Mechanics of Solids, Structures and Fluids; NDE, Diagnosis, and Prognosis
  • Phoenix, Arizona, USA, November 11–17, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5063-3
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


This paper discusses the physical mechanisms of enhanced fluid production from thin and slender porous structures such as hydraulic fractures and plant roots. The work shows how the end effect induces a large local pressure gradient in the medium which creates a converging flow pattern that focuses the fluid to the end region. As a result, a nearly singular flux density around the end develops which can promote the flux density distribution along the structure-medium surface, thus enhancing the production rate. For a given porous structure volume, a competition exists between the structure conductivity and the structure penetration length. This leads to an optimal length-to-width ratio for the structure that maximizes the fluid production rate. Optimized fracture and plant root are discussed.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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