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Journal Articles Environmental Science and Technology Year : 2014

Mixing and Reaction Kinetics in Porous Media: An Experimental Pore Scale Quantification

Pietro de Anna
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Hervé Tabuteau
Régis Turuban
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Tanguy Le Borgne
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  • PersonId : 905951


We propose a new experimental set up to characterize mixing and reactive transport in porous media with a high spatial resolution at the pore scale. The analogous porous medium consists of a Hele-Shaw cell containing a single layer of cylindrical solid grains built by soft lithography. On the one hand, the measurement of the local, intrapore, conservative concentration field is done using a fluorescent tracer. On the other hand, considering a fast bimolecular reaction A + B → C occurring as A displaces B, we quantify the rate of product formation from the spatially resolved measurement of the pore scale reaction rate, using a chemiluminescent reaction. The setup provides a dynamical measurement of the local concentration field over 3 orders of magnitude and allows investigating a wide range of Péclet and Damköhler numbers by varying the flow rate within the cell and the local reaction rate. We use it to study the kinetics of the reaction front between A and B. While the advection-dispersion (Fickian) theory, applied at the continuum scale, predicts a scaling of the cumulative mass of product C as MC ∝ √t, the experiments exhibit two distinct regimes in which the produced mass MC evolves faster than the Fickian behavior. In both regimes the front rate of product formation is controlled by the geometry of the mixing interface between the reactants. Initially, the invading solute is organized in stretched lamellae and the reaction is limited by mass transfer across the lamella boundaries. At longer times the front evolves into a second regime where lamellae coalesce and form a mixing zone whose temporal evolution controls the rate of product formation. In this second regime, the produced mass of C is directly proportional to the volume of the mixing zone defined from conservative species. This interesting property is indeed verified from a comparison of the reactive and conservative data. Hence, for both regimes, the direct measurement of the spatial distribution of the pore scale reaction rate and conservative component concentration is shown to be crucial to understanding the departure from the Fickian scaling as well as quantifying the basic mechanisms that govern the mixing and reaction dynamics at the pore scale.


Earth Sciences
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Dates and versions

insu-00945801 , version 1 (13-02-2014)



Pietro de Anna, Joaquín Jiménez-Martínez, Hervé Tabuteau, Régis Turuban, Tanguy Le Borgne, et al.. Mixing and Reaction Kinetics in Porous Media: An Experimental Pore Scale Quantification. Environmental Science and Technology, 2014, 48 (1), pp.508-516. ⟨10.1021/es403105b⟩. ⟨insu-00945801⟩
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