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  • American Physical Society (APS) (CrossRef)  (2)
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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Physical review letters, 06 November 2015, Vol.115(19), pp.194502
    Description: Helical flow leads to deformation of solute plumes and enhances transverse mixing in porous media. We present experiments in which macroscopic helical flow is created by arranging different materials to obtain an anisotropic macroscopic permeability tensor with spatially variable orientation. The resulting helical flow entails twisting streamlines which cause a significant increase in lateral mass exchange and thus a large enhancement of plume dilution (up to 235%) compared to transport in homogenous media. The setup may be used to effectively mix solutes in parallel streams similarly to static mixers, but in porous media.
    Keywords: Twisting ; Media ; Exchange ; Helical Flow ; Transport ; Plumes ; Porous Media ; Mathematical Analysis ; Plasma Physics (General) (So) ; Physics (General) (Ah);
    ISSN: 00319007
    E-ISSN: 1079-7114
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Physical review. E, July 2016, Vol.94(1-1), pp.013113
    Description: Plume dilution and transverse mixing can be considerably enhanced by helical flow occurring in three-dimensional heterogeneous anisotropic porous media. In this study, we perform tracer experiments in a fully three-dimensional flow-through chamber to investigate the effects of helical flow on plume spiraling and deformation, as well as on its dilution. Porous media were packed in angled stripes of materials with different grain sizes to create blocks with macroscopically anisotropic hydraulic conductivity, which caused helical flows. Steady-state transport experiments were carried out by continuously injecting dye tracers at different inlet ports. High-resolution measurements of concentration and flow rates were performed at 49 outlet ports. These measurements allowed quantifying the spreading and dilution of the solute plumes at the outlet cross section. Direct evidence of plume spiraling and visual proof of helical flow was obtained by freezing and slicing the porous media at different cross sections and observing the dye-tracer distribution. We simulated flow and transport to interpret our experimental observations and investigate the effects of helical flow on mixing-controlled reactive transport. The simulation results were evaluated using metrics of reactive mixing such as the critical dilution index and the length of continuously injected steady-state plumes. The results show considerable reaction enhancement, quantified by the remarkable decrease of reactive plume lengths (up to four times) in helical flows compared to analogous scenarios in uniform flows.
    Keywords: Physics;
    ISSN: 24700045
    E-ISSN: 2470-0053
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