High-Resolution Modeling of Flow in Packed Beds and Fibrous Materials from CT Images
Nathan M. Lane1, Karsten E. Thompson2, Pradeep Bhattad1, and Clinton S. Willson3. (1) Chemical Engineering, Louisiana State University, 110 Chemical Engineering, South Stadium Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, (2) Gordon & Mary Cain Department of Chemical Engineering, Louisiana State University, 110 Chemical Engineering, South Stadium Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, (3) Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Pore-scale modeling of flow in packed beds and fibrous materials allows us to connect engineering-scale observations with fundamental behavior. A common method for pore-scale modeling is a network approach, in which the pore-space is modeled as a discretized network of pores and pore throats. However, this approach is very coarse from a computational perspective, and is therefore unsuitable for modeling details such as mass-transfer boundary layers, which may be relevant in separations processes. To partially address this issue, we have developed an integrated set of algorithms for finite-element method modeling of pore scale flow, which provides a number of advantages: the models operate directly from three-dimensional CT images of real materials; the technique allows for a high level of grid refinement; it can be coupled with other types of models such as stochastic models for mass-transfer simulations. In this work we demonstrate detailed flow simulations in CT images of both packed beds and prototype fibrous materials.