Doctoral Dissertations


Qihua Wu


"Tight gas and shale gas reservoirs are characterized to have small pores with diameters in nanometer (nm) range. The physics of fluid flow in nanopores is poorly understood. Knowing the fluid flow behavior in the nano-range channels is of major importance for stimulation design, gas production optimization and calculations of the relative permeability of gas in tight shale gas systems. In this work, a lab-on-chip approach for direct visualization of the fluid flow behavior in nano-scale channels was developed using an advanced epi-fluorescence microscopy method combined with a nano-fluidic chip. The nanofluidic chips with different dimensions were designed and fabricated. First a concentration dependent fluorescence signal correlation was developed for the determination of single phase flow rate. Experiments of water/gas flow in nano-scale channels with 100nm depth were conducted. Meanwhile, three different flow patterns were observed from two phase flow in nano-scale channels experiments and their special features were described. The displacements of two-phase flow in 100 nm depth slit-like channels were reported in the second part of this work. Specifically, the two-phase gas slippage factor as the function of water saturation was studied. Moreover, water/gas two phase displacements were visualized in nanochanels with various depths. The displacements mechanisms for both drainage and imbibition processes were discussed and water/gas relative permeability in nano-scale channels were summarized. The residue water/gas saturations in nano-scale channels were also characterized. The results of this work are crucial for permeability measurement and understanding fluid flow behavior for unconventional shale gas systems with nanopores."--Abstract, page iv.


Ma, Yinfa
Bai, Baojun

Committee Member(s)

Woelk, Klaus
Nam, Paul Ki-souk
Winiarz, Jeffrey G.



Degree Name

Ph. D. in Chemistry


Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2014

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Optic imaging of single and two-phase pressure driven flows in nano-scale channels
  • Optic imaging of two-phase flow behavior in one dimensional nano-scale channels
  • Visualization of water/gas two-phase displacements in nanopores


xiv, 98 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 88-97).


© 2014 Qihua Wu, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Systems on a chip -- Design
Shale gas
Fluid mechanics

Thesis Number

T 10493

Electronic OCLC #


Included in

Chemistry Commons