Modeling flow in disordered packed beds from pore-scale fluid mechanics

Authors

  • Karsten E. Thompson,

    1. Dept. of Chemical Engineering, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
    Search for more papers by this author
  • H. Scott Fogler

    1. Dept. of Chemical Engineering, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Network models are an effective means of incorporating pore-scale heterogeneity into flow models of porous materials. The drawback to these models used to be the inability to obtain quantitative macroscopic parameters representing larger (experimental-scale) media. However, recently developed modeling techniques, combined with more widely available computational resources, make the simulation of macroscopic parameters from a network approach viable. A network model for the slow flow of an incompressible fluid in disordered packed beds is presented. Fundamental fluid mechanics equations are solved at the pore scale and then translated to macroscopic behaviour using a network approach. The results reproduce experimental permeabilities and show excellent quantitative fits to residence time distributions for mechanical dispersion in real beds. Simulations of the RTD are of special interest, because they are definitive links between pore-scale flow behavior and macroscopic responses.

Ancillary