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Laboratory Manual for Air Permeability Measurement

Background
The PERG-200 permeameter is a manually operated gas permeameter incorporating digital
technology to yield accurate permeability determinations for a limited range of sample size
and permeability. The device is an excellent choice as a training instrument since the
incorporation of the Fancher core holder reduces the required gas pressure to a minimum.
Safety

It is especially important to open and close valves deliberately, observing pressures,


having thought beforehand what the expected outcome will be.
Proper personal protective equipment, e.g. safety glasses, should be utilized when
operating laboratory equipment.
The PERL-200 is designed to be used with water or brine only. Use of oil or
solvents in the instrument may result in damage to the acrylic measurement tube or
other components.

Basic Theory
Henri Darcy empirically defined fluid flow in porous media in 1856 as being proportional to
the differential pressure per unit length. The relationship was derived from data collected
during a series of experiments on the vertical flow of water through gravel packs.
Subsequent work has proved the validity of Darcy's Law for flow in all directions and
confirmed the experimental observations by derivation from the basic laws of physics.

Q=

k A(P1 P2 )
L

Where:
k

Permeability. (Darcies)

Darcy's Law

Viscosity. (centipoise)

Flow Rate. (cc / sec)

Length of Flow. (cm)

Cross-Sectional Area of Flow. (cm2)

P1

Upstream Pressure, atmospheres

P2

Downstream Pressure, atmospheres

Darcy's Law has been found to be valid only at low flow rates, and is now recognized as a
special case of the Forchheimer Equation where the second order term has been reduced
to zero. Conventionally the Darcian region of flow is referred to as 'linear laminar' or
Darcian flow and that region described by the complete Forchheimer Equation as 'non
linear laminar' or Non-Darcian flow.

P v
=
+ v2
L k

Forchheimer Equation

Where:
P
L

Pressure Drop Across Sample

Viscosity. (centipoise)

Darcian Velocity (Q / A). (cm-2)

Permeability. (Darcies)

Forchheimer Factor.

Density. (gm / cc)

Darcy law for linear flow of compressible fluids


= =
=

[(1 2 ) + ]

= =

(1 + 2 )
2


(1 2 ) +

(1 + 2 )
(1 + 2 )

(1 2 ) +

2
2

(1 + 2 )2


(12 22 ) +
2
2

Neglecting gravity force and making K a subject:


=

(1 22 )

To calculate permeability based on milidarcy (md):


=

2000

(1 22 )

Air Permeability Measurements


Step 1: Place the core plug to be evaluated in the Fancher core holder.
Step2: Connect the regulated air supply to the instrument. Set the supply regulator to
approximately 20 psig. Open Valve V1 and adjust the flow pressure by rotating the handle of
the REGULATOR. Allow the UPSTREAM PRESSURE and the GAS FLOW RATE
displays to stabilize. (This may take several minutes.)

Step 3. Record the stabilized UPSTREAM PRESSURE and the temperature. Increase the
GAS FLOW RATE by rotating the REGULATOR handle in a clockwise direction. Again,
allow the UPSTREAM PRESSURE and the GAS FLOW RATE displays to stabilize.

Step4. Repeat the process at several upstream pressures to establish that Darcian flow is
occurring. (The gas flow rate should increase linearly with increased flow pressure.)

Step5. Enter the recorded values in the formula to calculate the permeability to air for the
core sample.
Step6: Calculate Liquid permeability and Klinkenberg constant from gas permeability using
Klinkenberg correction

K g = Gas permeability
K L = Liquid (absolute) permeability
b= Klinkenberg constant
P=Pressure

= (1 + )