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Issue 7, 2018
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Single layer porous media with entrapped minerals for microscale studies of multiphase flow

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Abstract

The behaviour of minerals (i.e. salts) such as sodium chloride and calcite in porous media is very important in various applications such as weathering of artworks, oil recovery and CO2 sequestration. We report a novel method for manufacturing single layer porous media in which minerals can be entrapped in a controlled way in order to study their dissolution and recrystallization. In addition, our manufacturing method is a versatile tool for creating monomodal, bimodal or multimodal pore size microporous media with controlled porosity ranging from 25% to 50%. These micromodels allow multiphase flows to be quantitatively studied with different microscopy techniques and can serve to validate numerical models that can subsequently be extended to the 3D situation where visualization is experimentally difficult. As an example of their use, deliquescence (dissolution by moisture absorption) of entrapped NaCl crystals is studied; our results show that the invasion of the resulting salt solution is controlled by the capillary pressure within the porous network. For hydrophilic porous media, the liquid preferentially invades the small pores whereas in a hydrophobic network the large pores are filled. Consequently, after several deliquescence/drying cycles in the hydrophilic system, the salt is transported towards the outside of the porous network via small pores; in hydrophobic micromodels, no salt migration is observed. Numerical simulations based on the characteristics of our single layer pore network agree very well with the experimental results and give more insight into the dynamics of salt transport through porous media.

Graphical abstract: Single layer porous media with entrapped minerals for microscale studies of multiphase flow

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Dec 2017, accepted on 22 Feb 2018 and first published on 05 Mar 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7LC01377A
Citation: Lab Chip, 2018,18, 1094-1104
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    Single layer porous media with entrapped minerals for microscale studies of multiphase flow

    R. W. Liefferink, A. Naillon, D. Bonn, M. Prat and N. Shahidzadeh, Lab Chip, 2018, 18, 1094
    DOI: 10.1039/C7LC01377A

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