A confocal Micro-Particle Image Velocimetry (C-μPIV) technique along with associated post image processing algorithms is established to quantify three dimensional distributions of nano-particle velocity and concentration at the micro-scale (pore-scale) in 2.5D porous media designed from a Boise rock sample. In addition, an in-situ, non-destructive method for measuring the geometry of the micro-model, including its depth, is described and demonstrated. The particle experiments use 900 nm fluorescence labeled polystyrene particles at a flow rate of 10 nLmin−1 and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), while in-situ geometry measurements use regular microscope along with Rhodamine dye and a depth-to-fluorescence-intensity calibration. Image post-processing techniques include elimination of background noise and signal from adsorbed nano-particle on the inner surfaces of the micro-model. In addition, a minimization of depth of focus technique demonstrates a capability of optically thin slice allowing us to measure depth wise velocity in 2.5D micro-model. The mean planar components of the particle velocity of the steady-state flow and particle concentration distributions were measured in three dimensions. Particle velocities range from 0.01 to 122 μm s−1 and concentrations from 2.18 × 103 to 1.79 × 104 particles mm−2. Depth-wise results show that mean velocity closer to the top wall is comparatively higher than bottom walls, because of higher planar porosity and smooth pathway for the nano-particles closer to the top wall. The three dimensional micro-model geometry reconstructed from the fluorescence data can be used to conduct numerical simulations of the flow in the as-tested micro-model for future comparisons to experimental results after incorporating particle transport and particle-wall interaction models.

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