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Keywords:

  • inertial flow;
  • porous media;
  • Darcy-Forchheimer equation;
  • beta factor;
  • lattice Boltzmann method

Pore-scale inertial flows in periodic body centered cubic (BCC) arrays of smooth and rough sphere packs were simulated using lattice Boltzmann method. Computed velocity fields were visualized and averaged to calculate macroscopic flow parameters characteristic of porous media such as permeability, tortuosity, and β factor as well as the transition Reynolds number values and compared well with established correlations. Furthermore, hemispherical depositions on the smooth spheres in the regular BCC array were used to calculate roughness induced changes in macroscopic flow parameters. As the next step toward simulating inertia dominated flow in natural porous media, simulations were validated for low Reynolds number flow in a three-dimensional (3-D) CT image of irregular pack of uniform diameter spheres. This work aims to define 3-D canonical studies for roughness induced inertial flows in porous media and to assess the capability of LBM for simultaneous prediction of absolute permeability and β factor. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 4858–4870, 2013