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Pore-Scale Dispersion in Electrokinetic Flow through a Random Sphere Packing


Seidel-Morgenstern,  A.
Physical and Chemical Foundations of Process Engineering, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Max Planck Society;
Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg, External Organizations;

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Hlushkou, D., Khirevich, S., Apanasovich, V., Seidel-Morgenstern, A., & Tallarek, U. (2007). Pore-Scale Dispersion in Electrokinetic Flow through a Random Sphere Packing. Analytical Chemistry, 79(1), 113-121. doi:10.1021/ac061168r.

The three-dimensional velocity field and corresponding hydrodynamic dispersion in electrokinetic flow through a random bulk packing of impermeable, nonconducting spheres are studied by quantitative numerical analysis. First, a fixed bed with interparticle porosity of 0.38 is generated using a parallel collective-rearrangement algorithm. Then, the interparticle velocity field is calculated using the lattice-Boltzmann (LB) method, and a random-walk particle-tracking method is finally employed to model advection-diffusion of an inert tracer in the LB velocity field. We demonstrate that the pore-scale velocity profile for electroosmotic flow (EOF) is nonuniform even under most ideal conditions, including a negligible thickness of the electrical double layer compared to the mean pore size, a uniform distribution of the electrokinetic potential at the solid-liquid interface, and the absence of applied pressure gradients. This EOF dynamics is caused by a nonuniform distribution of the local electrical field strength in the sphere packing and engenders significant hydrodynamic dispersion compared to pluglike EOF through a single straight channel. Both transient and asymptotic dispersion behaviors are analyzed for EOF in the context of packing microstructure and are compared to pressure-driven flow in dependence of the average velocity through the bed. A better hydrodynamic performance of EOF originates in a still much smaller amplitude of velocity fluctuations on a mesoscopic scale (covering several particle diameters), as well as on the microscopic scale of an individual pore. © 2007 American Chemical Society [accessed 2013 November 26th]