Unsaturated Porous Media
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Lazaro J. Perez ◽  
Alexandre Puyguiraud ◽  
Juan J. Hidalgo ◽  
Joaquín Jiménez-Martínez ◽  
Rishi Parashar ◽  

AbstractWe study mixing-controlled chemical reactions in unsaturated porous media from a pore-scale perspective. The spatial heterogeneity induced by the presence of two immiscible phases, here water and air, in the pore space generates complex flow patterns that dominate reactive mixing across scales. To assess the impact of different macroscopic saturation states (the fraction of pore volume occupied by water) on mixing-controlled chemical reactions, we consider a fast irreversible reaction between two initially segregated dissolved species that mix as one solution displaces the other in the heterogeneous flow field of the water phase. We use the pore-scale geometry and water distributions from the laboratory experiments reported by Jiménez-Martínez et al. (Geophys. Res. Lett. 42: 5316–5324, 2015). We analyze reactive mixing in three complementary ways. Firstly, we post-process experimentally observed spatially distributed concentration data; secondly, we perform numerical simulations of flow and reactive transport in the heterogeneous water phase, and thirdly, we use an upscaled mixing model. The first approach relies on an exact algebraic map between conservative and reactive species for an instantaneous irreversible bimolecular reaction that allows to estimate reactive mixing based on experimental conservative transport data. The second approach is based on reactive random walk particle tracking simulations in the numerically determined flow field in the water phase. The third approach uses a dispersive lamella approach that accounts for the impact of flow heterogeneity on mixing in terms of effective dispersion coefficients, which are estimated from both experimental data and numerical random walk particle tracking simulations. We observe a significant increase in reactive mixing for decreasing saturation, which is caused by the stronger heterogeneity of the water phase and thus of the flow field. This is consistently observed in the experimental data and the direct numerical simulations. The dispersive lamella model, parameterized by the effective interface width, provides robust estimates of the evolution of the product mass obtained from the experimental and numerical data.

2021 ◽  
pp. 104077
Anis Younes ◽  
Behshad Koohbor ◽  
Benjamin Belfort ◽  
Philippe Ackerer ◽  
Joanna Doummar ◽  

Sherif Adham Mohamed

The drying model of porous material has been studied and solved. The drying model solves the drying of porous material if the porous material is saturated or unsaturated with salt solution. Local thermodynamic equilibrium was not assumed in the mathematical model for describing the multi-phase flow in the unsaturated porous media using the energy and mass conservation equations to describe the heat and mass transfer during the drying. The vapor pressure inside porous material voids is built from the vapor mass transport through material thickness and from the void’s water content evaporation. The new equation in the model is water vapor pressure’s equation. The drying model included advection and capillary transport of the water in porous material pores, the gases transport by advection and diffusion and soluble salt transports by diffusion only. The environment of the boundary condition of the model is atmospheric condition in the day’s hours. The model consists of 5 equations for mass and heat transfer phenomenon. The model was solved by Matlab software. The case study of the model is concrete block.

2021 ◽  
Vol 118 (38) ◽  
pp. e2111060118
Judy Q. Yang ◽  
Joseph E. Sanfilippo ◽  
Niki Abbasi ◽  
Zemer Gitai ◽  
Bonnie L. Bassler ◽  

The spread of pathogenic bacteria in unsaturated porous media, where air and liquid coexist in pore spaces, is the major cause of soil contamination by pathogens, soft rot in plants, food spoilage, and many pulmonary diseases. However, visualization and fundamental understanding of bacterial transport in unsaturated porous media are currently lacking, limiting the ability to address the above contamination- and disease-related issues. Here, we demonstrate a previously unreported mechanism by which bacterial cells are transported in unsaturated porous media. We discover that surfactant-producing bacteria can generate flows along corners through surfactant production that changes the wettability of the solid surface. The corner flow velocity is on the order of several millimeters per hour, which is the same order of magnitude as bacterial swarming, one of the fastest known modes of bacterial surface translocation. We successfully predict the critical corner angle for bacterial corner flow to occur based on the biosurfactant-induced change in the contact angle of the bacterial solution on the solid surface. Furthermore, we demonstrate that bacteria can indeed spread by producing biosurfactants in a model soil, which consists of packed angular grains. In addition, we demonstrate that bacterial corner flow is controlled by quorum sensing, the cell–cell communication process that regulates biosurfactant production. Understanding this previously unappreciated bacterial transport mechanism will enable more accurate predictions of bacterial spreading in soil and other unsaturated porous media.

2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (16) ◽  
pp. 7617
Alireza Mokhtari Varnosfaderani ◽  
Ehsan Motevali Haghighi ◽  
Behrouz Gatmiri ◽  
Seonhong Na

The impacts of climate change on unsaturated porous media have been investigated through the coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical analysis by leveraging a discrete fracture model. The transport of gas and liquid phases in unsaturated porous media is captured under non-isothermal conditions. The balance principles of moisture energy and mass are associated with crack propagation. The temperature-dependent degree of saturation and permeability of water are incorporated into fracture based on the cubic law. Numerical examples are designed to evaluate the applicability of the proposed model against climate change. First, a double-notch plate domain is used to identify the sensitivity of various material properties on crack propagation associated with mechanical loading. Then, a masonry wall of drying under thermal action is studied to investigate its degradation by mimicking climatic load conditions. The results of numerical tests demonstrate the capabilities of the proposed model for practical application well.

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