Mixing and reactions in heterogeneous porous media


Chemical reactions occur in a wide variety of flowing systems. In order for a reaction to actually occur, these reactants must first come into contact. As a result, mixing drives reactions in these types of systems. Non-uniform flow fields are known to enhance mixing, and as a result impact reaction rates in reactive transport. This project uses a Lagrangian reactive particle tracking method to model reactive transport through idealized two-dimensional heterogeneous porous media. The ultimate goal of this work is to develop an upscaled model that accurately accounts for these smaller scale processes without needing to resolve them. To do this, work has been done to identify which features of the flow most control mixing and reactions. Flow deformation metrics based on velocity gradients such as the Okubo-Weiss parameter were considered and efforts in finding a connection between conservative and reactive transport were made.

    For more information:

  • Wright, E., D.H. Richter, & D. Bolster (2017), The effects of incomplete mixing on reactive transport in flows through heterogeneous porous media, Physical Review Fluids, 2, pp 114501
  • Wright, E., N. Sund, D.H. Richter, G. Porta, & D. Bolster (2019), Upscaling mixing in highly heterogeneous porous media via a spatial Markov model, Water, 11, 53

Project Aims

  1. Determine which characteristics of the heterogeneous flow have the strongest impact on mixing and reactions
  2. Find the link between conservative and reactive transport
  3. Upscale reaction rates in these systems

Project Information

Start date
September 2015
End Date
Contact Person
Elise Wright, Diogo Bolster, or David Richter
Contact Details

Telephone: (574) 631-4839
E-mail: David.Richter.26@nd.edu
Funding Organization
National Science Foundation
Funding Reference