• non-Newtonian fluid;
  • power-law model;
  • porous media;
  • binary solution


Numerical and analytical study of natural convection in a vertical porous cavity filled with a non-Newtonian binary fluid is presented. The density variation is taken into account by the Boussinesq approximation. A power-law model is used to characterize the non-Newtonian fluid behavior. Neumann boundary conditions for temperature are applied to the vertical walls of the enclosure, while the two horizontal ones are assumed impermeable and insulated. Both double-diffusive convection (a = 0) and Soret-induced convection (a = 1) are considered. Scale analysis is presented for the two extreme cases of heat-driven and solute-driven natural convection. For convection in a thin vertical layer (A ≫ 1), a semianalytical solution for the stream function, temperature, and solute fields, Nusselt and Sherwood numbers are obtained using a parallel flow approximation in the core region of the cavity and an integral form of the energy and constituent equations. Numerical results of the full governing equations show the effects of the governing parameters, namely the thermal Rayleigh number, RT, the Lewis number, Le, the buoyancy ratio, φ, the power-law index, n, and the integer number a. A good agreement between the analytical predictions and the numerical simulations is obtained. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 58: 1704–1716, 2012