PMID: 18522092Jun 5, 2008

Evaluation of the effects of porous media structure on mixing-controlled reactions using pore-scale modeling and micromodel experiments

Environmental Science & Technology
Thomas W WillinghamAlbert J Valocchi


The objectives of this work were to determine if a pore-scale model could accurately capture the physical and chemical processes that control transverse mixing and reaction in microfluidic pore structures (i.e., micromodels), and to directly evaluate the effects of porous media geometry on a transverse mixing-limited chemical reaction. We directly compare pore-scale numerical simulations using a lattice-Boltzmann finite volume model (LB-FVM) with micromodel experiments using identical pore structures and flow rates, and we examine the effects of grain size, grain orientation, and intraparticle porosity upon the extent of a fast bimolecular reaction. For both the micromodel experiments and LB-FVM simulations, two reactive substrates are introduced into a network of pores via two separate and parallel fluid streams. The substrates mix within the porous media transverse to flow and undergo instantaneous reaction. Results indicate that (i) the LB-FVM simulations accurately captured the physical and chemical process in the micromodel experiments, (ii) grain size alone is not sufficient to quantify mixing at the pore scale, (iii) interfacial contact area between reactive species plumes is a controlling factor for mixing and extent of...Continue Reading


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