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Numerical Analysis of Electroosmotic Flow in Dense Regular and Random Arrays of Impermeable, Nonconducting Spheres


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., Seidel-Morgenstern, A., & Tallarek, U. (2005). Numerical Analysis of Electroosmotic Flow in Dense Regular and Random Arrays of Impermeable, Nonconducting Spheres. Langmuir, 21(13), 6097-6112. doi:10.1021/la050239z.

We present a numerical scheme for analyzing steady-state isothermal electroosmotic flow (EOF) in three-dimensional random porous media, involving solution of the coupled Poisson, Nernst-Planck, and Navier-Stokes equations. While traditional finite-difference methods were used to resolve the Poisson-Nernst-Planck problem, the (electro)hydrodynamics has been addressed with high efficiency using the lattice-Boltzmann method. The developed model allows simulation of electrokinetic transport under most general conditions, including arbitrary value and distribution of electrokinetic potential at the solid-liquid interface, electrolyte composition, and pore space morphology. The approach provides quantitative information on a spatial distribution of simulated velocities. This feature was utilized to characterize EOF fields in regular and random, confined and bulk packings of hard (i.e., impermeable, nonconducting) spheres. Important aspects of pore space morphology (sphere size distribution), surface heterogeneity (mismatch in electrokinetic potentials at confining wall and sphere surface), and fluid phase properties (electrical double layer thickness) were investigated with respect to their influence on the EOF dynamics over microscopic and macroscopic spatial domains. Most important is the observation of a generally nonuniform pore-level EOF velocity profile in the sphere packings (even in the thin double layer limit) which is caused by pore space morphology and which is in contrast to the pluglike velocity distribution in a single, straight capillary under the same conditions. Copyright © 2005 American Chemical Society [accessed 2013 November 27th]