Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Steady-State Diffusion in a Spatially Varying Porous Medium Public Deposited

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  • Heterogeneous porous material represents a persistent challenge in the field of engineering. Microscale properties such as the porosity and microchannel torturosity significantly control the macroscale transport characteristics of homogeneous porous medium. Additional complexity is introduced when these small-scale features vary in space. Examples of heterogeneous porous systems include artificial body tissues, groundwater flow across different soil types, and asymmetric membrane filtration systems. While these processes are ubiquitous in engineering applications, modeling a fully resolved porous material larger than a few millimeters is restricted by the availability of computational resources. Upscaling techniques such as the method of volume averaging use information from a small portion of the porous medium to derive parameter values to describe transport over the original large-scale system. This research aims to extend the method of volume averaging to modeling heterogeneous systems that contain significant porosity gradients. In particular, a new model is developed that incorporates information relating to the center of mass of the system to the overall transport properties of the heterogeneous porous material. This model is used to model mass transport within a variety of periodic and disordered porous media. The accuracy of the model is compared to previously described MVA models and the limitations and advantages of each model are detailed.
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