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Thermal Conductivity of Sedimentary Rocks as Function of Biot’s Coefficient

A theoretical model for prediction of effective thermal conductivity with application to sedimentary rocks is presented. Effective thermal conductivity of sedimentary rocks can be estimated from empirical relations or theoretically modelled. Empirical relations are limited to the empirical conditions and should be applied with caution. Theoretical models are typically porosity-based and unable to capture the complexity of sedimentary rocks. We propose a theoretical model, derived from measurable parameters including both quantity and connectivity of the constituents. Because the thermal conductivity of solids is typically orders of magnitude larger than that of fluids, grain contacts constituting the solid connectivity governs the heat transfer of sedi-mentary rocks and hence should be the basis for modelling effective thermal con-ductivity. By introducing Biot’s coefficient, α, we propose (1 – α) as a measure of the solid connectivity and show how effective thermal conductivity of water saturated and dry sandstones can be modelled.

This paper highlights application of the C-Therm TCi Thermal Conductivity Analyzer.


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