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Conference Papers Year : 2023

Population dynamic of non−wetting blobs in porous medi


We study experimentally the dynamics of non-wetting blobs flowing simultaneously with a wetting fluid in a quasi-two-dimensional porous medium consisting of random obstacles Fig. \ref{fig:pictman}. The blobs continuously merge forming larger ones (coalescence) and breakup into smaller ones (fragmentation) leading to an overall dynamic equilibrium between the two processes (see Fig. \ref{fig:pictcoalfrag}). We develop a clustering algorithm for the identification of fragmentation and coalescence events that records the size of the blobs prior and immediately after each event from high-resolution videos of the immiscible flow experiments. The results provide significant insight on the main physical features of these two processes, such as blob size distributions, breakup and coalescence frequency as a function of total flow rate, and the size distributions of the blobs formed by either the fragmentation or coalescence of other ones. One of the salient features of the fragmentation process in our study is that blobs smaller than the typical pore size exhibit a higher probability of producing two almost identical children (in size), whereas larger blobs breakup into two children of different sizes. In the latter case, one of children is found to have a dimension practically equal to the typical pore size. Our experimental results are also interpreted in the framework of a mean-field approach, where the dynamics of the blob sizes is expressed through an integro-differential population balance equation (PBE) that comprise terms for the description of the rates of size gains and losses by either fragmentation or coalescence. We recover appropriate expressions for the relevant coalescence and fragmentation kernels, as functions of the blob sizes that participate in each event. A rather surprising result is that for a given blob size population, we obtain an equilibrium between the gains by fragmentation and the losses by coalescence. Furthermore, the opposite is also true, as the population gains by coalescence are found to be equal to the losses by fragmentation.
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Dates and versions

hal-04417039 , version 1 (25-01-2024)


  • HAL Id : hal-04417039 , version 1


Laurent Talon, Dominique Salin, Raphael Boughemari, Andreas Yiotis. Population dynamic of non−wetting blobs in porous medi. Journée d'Etudes des Milieux Poreux 2023, Oct 2023, Reuil-Malmaison, France. ⟨hal-04417039⟩
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