Capillary impregnation of viscous fluids in porous media is useful in diagnostics, design of lab-on-chip devices and enhanced oil recovery. The impregnation of a wetting fluid in a homogeneous porous medium follows Washburn’s diffusive law. The diffusive dynamics predicts that, with the increase in permeability, the rate of spontaneous imbibition of a wetting fluid also increases. As most of the naturally occurring porous media are composed of hydrodynamically interacting layers having different properties, the impregnation in a heterogeneous porous medium is significantly different from a homogeneous porous medium. A Washburn like model has been developed in the past to predict the imbibition behavior in the layers for a hydrodynamically interacting three layered porous medium filled with a non-viscous resident phase. It was observed that the relative placement of the layers impacts the imbibition phenomena significantly. In this work, we develop a quasi one-dimensional lubrication approximation to predict the imbibition dynamics in a hydrodynamically interacting multi-layered porous medium. The generalized model shows that the arrangement of layers strongly affects the saturation of wetting phase in the porous medium, which is crucial for oil recovery and in microfluidic applications.

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