Journal of Visualization

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 277–288 | Cite as

Visualization of steam injection into homogeneous porous media

  • S. PeraltaEmail author
  • F. Aragón
  • A. Torres
  • E. Serrano
  • I. Carvajal
  • A. Medina
Regular Paper


In this study we describe the important features of the process of steam injection through non-consolidated porous media made of sand. We have analyzed the resulting fluid flow patterns through normal and infrared visualization by varying the injection pressure into a horizontal cylindrical pipe and a circular cell on a vertical position. Such configurations mimic those occurring under the steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) in tertiary recovery from oilfields and geothermal reservoirs. We describe some characteristics of the ubiquitous condensation front in both experimental arrays. In the first case, a glass pipe filled with sand was subjected to steam injection at different pressures. In the second case, a circular cell on a vertical position brimful of sand cell was subjected to similar processes. For each case, the existence of several types of condensation fronts, depending on the injection pressure, has been evidenced by means of digital and infrared visualization which gives mutually complementary information.

Graphical abstract


Flow Trough Porous Media Flow visualization and imaging Experimental aspects 



We would like to thank the SENER-CONACYT project “Integrated system for generating steam downhole” No. 147061 for supporting this study, SIP project “Submerged Jet of PIV No. 20151924, CONACYT for the scholarship ”and the Laboratory of the Chemical Engineering and Extractive Industries (ESIQUE) IPN for allowing us to use their facilities.


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Copyright information

© The Visualization Society of Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Peralta
    • 1
    Email author
  • F. Aragón
    • 2
  • A. Torres
    • 3
  • E. Serrano
    • 1
  • I. Carvajal
    • 2
  • A. Medina
    • 3
  1. 1.Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo.MéxicoMexico
  2. 2.Instituto Politécnico NacionalESIME ZacatencoMéxicoMexico
  3. 3.ESIME Azcapotzalco, Instituto Politécnico NacionalMéxicoMexico

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