The Complexity of Porous Media Flow Characterized in a Microfluidic Model Based on Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy and Micro-PIV

D. A. M. de Winter*, K. Weishaupt, S. Scheller, S. Frey, A. Raoof, S. M. Hassanizadeh, R. Helmig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
55 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In this study, the complexity of a steady-state flow through porous media is revealed using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). Micro-particle image velocimetry (micro-PIV) is applied to construct movies of colloidal particles. The calculated velocity vector fields from images are further utilized to obtain laminar flow streamlines. Fluid flow through a single straight channel is used to confirm that quantitative CLSM measurements can be conducted. Next, the coupling between the flow in a channel and the movement within an intersecting dead-end region is studied. Quantitative CLSM measurements confirm the numerically determined coupling parameter from earlier work of the authors. The fluid flow complexity is demonstrated using a porous medium consisting of a regular grid of pores in contact with a flowing fluid channel. The porous media structure was further used as the simulation domain for numerical modeling. Both the simulation, based on solving Stokes equations, and the experimental data show presence of non-trivial streamline trajectories across the pore structures. In view of the results, we argue that the hydrodynamic mixing is a combination of non-trivial streamline routing and Brownian motion by pore-scale diffusion. The results provide insight into challenges in upscaling hydrodynamic dispersion from pore scale to representative elementary volume (REV) scale. Furthermore, the successful quantitative validation of CLSM-based data from a microfluidic model fed by an electrical syringe pump provided a valuable benchmark for qualitative validation of computer simulation results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343–367
Number of pages25
JournalTransport in Porous Media
Volume136
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2021
Externally publishedYes

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