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TU Clausthal

DGMK-Event Geo-Energy Systems and Subsurface Technologies

DGMK/GSSPE WebSeminar: Microfluidic technology - Applications in and beyond EOR

16:00 - 17:00
The presentation is given in English.

About the WebSeminar

Microfluidics deals with the behaviour, control and manipulation of fluids on a submillimeter scale. This allows a reduction of fluid volumes, a faster and more efficient analysis and often a visual access to the process. During the recent years, the microfluidic technology was enhanced at the nstitute of Subsurface Energy Systems (ITE) with the support of DGMK project 746, a reliable screening tool for many EOR techniques such as polymer flooding using customised micromodels was developed. The application of micromodels imitating common rock properties enables the execution of comparable test series with a large number of single experiments in shorter time prior to a labour and time intensive core or sandpack flooding.

Microfluidics offers many advantages in the lab. The ITE aims to expand the range of application even further. For production optimisation, drilling mud filtration experiments can be performed under more realistic conditions, the stability and distribution of foams can be observed or experimental parameters varied to cause asphaltene or salt precipitations. Implementing a microscope for a closer observation of the processes in the pores leads to the research in bacterial growth for MEOR purposes. This is not only of interest for the petroleum and gas industry, but also for modern energy and gas storage. For the in-situ methanation in underground storages it is the rigueur to know how methanogenic bacteria behave in a porous medium saturated by two-fluid phases. Furthermore, methods and strategies to tackle rock heterogeneities can be investigated by mirroring those in the design of the artificial structures of the models.

This lecture will give a brief history of the microfluidic technology in research and development of the institute. A detailed insight into the technology, their advantages and possibilities of application, but also their limits will be presented. At the close, current projects and intentions for utilising this technology are introduced.

About the Lecturer

Stefanie Säfken is a researcher at the Institute of Subsurface Energy Systems (ITE) at the Technical University of Clausthal in Germany. She was born close to the coast of the North Sea and moved to the small town in the Harz mountain rail for her studies. Since 2015, Mrs. Säfken was part of the research team for microfluidics as student assistant, developing a cleaning procedure for used micromodels. Her master thesis with the title "Wettability alteration of Glass-Silicon-Glass micromodels for microfluidic applications in EOR" supported the ongoing research efforts in this field. In 2019, she has finished her Master of Science in Chemistry and started working at the ITE as a member of the scientific staff and a PhD candidate.

Besides her work, she is a volunteer in the Federal Agency of Technical Relief, a civil defence organisation. There she is experiencing extra technical and functional qualifications that benefit her professional training, and currently holds the position of the squad leader in her section.

The WebSeminar is supported by:


Registration is closed.

Event Coordinator

Dr. Susanne Kuchling

Head of the Geo-Energy-Systems and Subsurface Technologies Department

Ines Musekamp

Coordination of the Department Geo-Energy-Systems and Subsurface Technologies