Reactive Transport with Fluid–Solid Interactions in Dual-Porosity Media

Alon Nissan, Uria Alcolombri, Frédéric de Schaetzen, Brian Berkowitz, Joaquin Jimenez-Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study pore-scale dynamics of reactive transport in heterogeneous, dual-porosity media, wherein a reactant in the invading fluid interacts chemically with the surface of the permeable grains, leading to the irreversible reaction Aaq + Bs → Caq. A microfluidic porous medium was synthesized, consisting of a single layer of hydrogel pillars (grains), chemically modified to contain immobilized enzymes on the grain surfaces. Fluorescence microscopy was used to monitor the spatiotemporal evolution of the reaction product Caq at different flow rates (Péclet values) and to characterize the impact on its transport. The experimental setup enables delineation of three key features of the temporal evolution of the reaction product within the domain: (i) the characteristic time until the rate of Caq production reaches steady state, (ii) the magnitude of the reaction rate at steady state, and (iii) the rate at which Caq is flushed from the system. These features, individually, are found to be sensitive to the value of the Péclet number, because of the relative impact of diffusion (vs advection) on the production and spatiotemporal evolution of Caq within the system. As the Péclet number increases, the production of Caq is reduced and the transport becomes more localized within the vicinity of the grains. The dual-porosity feature causes the residence time of the transported species to increase, by forming stagnant zones and diffusive-dominant regions within the flow field, thus enhancing the reaction potential of the system. Using complementary numerical simulations, we explore these effects for a wider range of Péclet and Damköhler numbers and propose nonlinear scaling laws for the key features of the temporal evolution of Caq.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-268
Number of pages10
JournalACS EST Water
Issue number2
Early online date9 Dec 2020
StatePublished - 12 Feb 2021


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