A new methodology for determination of macroscopic transport parameters in drying porous media
Abstract:Two main approaches have been used to model the drying process: The first approach considers the partially saturated porous medium as a continuum and partial differential equations are used to describe the mass, momentum and energy balances of the fluid phases. The continuum-scale models (CM) obtained by this approach involve constitutive laws which require effective material properties, such as the diffusivity, permeability, and thermal conductivity which are often determined by experiments. The second approach considers the material at the pore scale, where the void space is represented by a network of pores (PN). Micro- or nanofluidics models used in each pore give rise to a large system of ordinary differential equations with degrees of freedom at each node of the pore network.
In this work, the moisture transport coefficient (D), the pseudo desorption isotherm inside the network and at the evaporative surface are estimated from the post-processing of the three-dimensional pore network drying simulations for fifteen realizations of the pore space geometry from a given probability distribution. A slice sampling method is used in order to extract these parameters from PN simulations. The moisture transport coefficient obtained in this way is shown in Fig. 1a. The minimum of average D values demonstrates the transition between liquid dominated moisture transport region and vapor dominated moisture transport region; a similar behavior has been observed in previous experimental findings. A function is fitted to the average D values and then is fed into the non-linear moisture diffusion equation. The saturation profiles obtained from PN and CM simulations are shown in Fig. 1b.