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www.elsevier.com/locate/ijhmt

Jinsui Wu a,b, Boming Yu a,*

a

Department of Physics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1037 Luoyu Road, Wuhan 430074, PR China

b

Department of Physics, North China Institute of Science and Technology, Yanjiao Town, Sanhe City, Hebei 06520, PR China

Available online 5 April 2007

Abstract

A fractal model for resistance of ﬂow through porous media is developed based on the fractal characters of porous media and on the

pore–throat model for capillary. The proposed model is expressed as a function of the pore–throat ratio, porosity, property of ﬂuid,

pore/capillary and particle sizes, ﬂuid velocity (or Reynolds number) and fractal dimensions of porous media. There is no empirical con-

stant and every parameter has clear physical meaning in the proposed model. The model predictions are compared with experiment data,

and good agreement is found between them.

Ó 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

than 10 [2]. If the ﬁrst term on the right side of2 Eq. (1) is

qvs

The widely employed resistance model for ﬂow through neglected, Eq. (1) is reduced to DPL0

¼ 1:75 1e

e3 Dp

, which is

porous media was proposed by Ergun [1] in 1952. This called Burke-Plummer equation. Burke-Plummer equation

model is called Ergun equation: denotes the kinetic energy loss primarily in turbulent ﬂow

2 and the kinetic/local energy loss dominates the pressure

DP 150lð1 eÞ vs 1 e qv2s drop when the modiﬁed Reynolds number Rep is higher

¼ þ 1:75 ð1Þ

L0 D2p e3 e3 D p than 100 [2]. The interior mechanism for the kinetic energy

loss is not well understood. Ergun equation indicates that

where DP is the pressure drop, L0 is the length along the the pressure drop across the packing length is dependent

macroscopic pressure gradient in porous media, vs is the upon the ﬂow rate, the viscosity and density of ﬂuid, and

superﬁcial velocity (deﬁned by vs = Q/A, where Q is the to- the size, shape and surface of packing materials [1]. It has

tal ﬂow rate through a cross section of area A), l is the been shown that the pressure loss as indicated by Eq. (1)

absolute viscosity of ﬂuid, e is the porosity, and Dp is the is obtained by adding the viscous and kinetic energy losses.

appropriate characteristic length for a medium or the equiv- Ergun equation has been hotly debated in the past decades.

alent mean diameter of particles, q is the density of ﬂuid. Many investigators [3–10] discussed its applicability and

Eq. (1) is based on the average hydraulic radius [2]. The diﬀerent empirical constants under diﬀerent porosities

ﬁrst term on the right side 2of Eq. (1) is called Blake-Kozeny and particles.

equation, i.e. DP

L0

¼ 150lð1eÞ

D2p e3

vs

, which represents the viscous It has been shown that the fractal geometry theory [11]

energy loss primarily in laminar ﬂow, and pressure drop has been used as a tool in many disciplines to characterize

for ﬂow at low speed (or low Reynolds number) is mainly irregular or disordered objects [11–13] such as coast lines,

determined by the viscous energy loss, i.e. when the modi- clouds and islands, roughness of surfaces [14–16], sand-

stone pores [17,18], fracture surfaces of metal [19], and

*

Corresponding author. Tel.: +86 27 87542153; fax: +86 27 87543882. granular materials [20], etc. The pores and their distribu-

E-mail address: yuboming2003@yahoo.com.cn (B. Yu). tions in porous media are analogous to islands or lakes

0017-9310/$ - see front matter Ó 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2007.02.009

3926 J. Wu, B. Yu / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 50 (2007) 3925–3932

¼ Df kDmin

f

kðDf þ1Þ dk ¼ f ðkÞ dk ð5Þ

Therefore, it is possible to model the transport properties Nt

such as ﬂow resistance and permeability for ﬂow in porous

where f ðkÞ ¼ Df kDmin

f

kðDf þ1Þ is the probability density func-

media by fractal geometry theory. In the light of this point,

tion. The probability density function f(k) should satisfy

Yu et al. [21,22] proposed a fractal geometry model for per-

the following normalization relation:

meability of porous media and their model has been shown

Z kmax D

to be suitable not only for particle porous media [21] but kmin f

also for porous fabrics [22]. Their model is analytically f ðkÞ dk ¼ 1 ¼1 ð6Þ

kmin kmax

expressed as a function of fractal dimensions (for pore

spaces and for tortuous capillaries/streamlines) and micro- As a result, Eq. (6) holds if and only if [27]

structural parameters of the media. Karacan and Halleck ðkmin =kmax Þ

Df

¼0 ð7Þ

[23] extended Yu and Cheng’s [21] model to the prediction

2

of the permeability for grain fragments. Recently, Shi et al. In general, kmin/kmax 6 10 in porous media, and Eq. (7)

[24,25] extended Yu et al.’s fractal permeability model holds approximately, thus the fractal geometry theory

[21,22] to modeling the permeability for the gas diﬀusion and technique can be used to analyze properties of porous

layer (GDL) of PEM fuel cells, whose pore size is in the media. In above equations, fractal dimension Df is given by

order of 105–108 m. Meng et al. [26] also applied the [27]

fractal geometry theory to model the permeation of mem- ln e

brane fouling in membrane bioreactor. The cake layer Df ¼ d E ð8Þ

lnðkmin =kmax Þ

formed on membrane surface presents a major challenge

to membrane permeation, and it can be considered as a where dE is the Euclidean dimension, and dE = 2 (3) in two

porous media. The cake layer permeability was derived (three) dimensions.

and found to be a function of the pore-area fractal dimen- If one is interested in fractal particles, the above param-

sion and microstructural parameters. eters and equations are immediately applicable as long as

From the above brief review, it is seen that the wide appropriate changes are made, for example, changing the

applications of the fractal geometry theory in many ﬁelds porosity e into the particle volume fraction, and pore diam-

have been found. It, therefore, may be possible to develop eter k into the particle diameter, etc.

the analytical model for resistance of ﬂow in porous media The tortuous capillaries have also been shown to follow

based on the fractal geometry theory. In this paper, we the fractal scaling law given by [21]

derive a fractal model for resistance of ﬂow through porous

Lt ðkÞ ¼ k1DT LD0 T ð9Þ

media with particles of diﬀerent shapes based on the fractal

characters of the media and on the pore–throat model for where DT is the fractal dimension for tortuous capillaries

capillary. In the following section, the fractal characters of with 1 < DT < 2 in two dimensions, representing the convo-

porous media are addressed ﬁrst. luted extent of capillary pathways for ﬂuid ﬂow through a

porous medium, and Lt(k) is the tortuous/real length. Due

2. Fractal characters of porous media to the tortuous nature of the pore channel, Lt(k) P L0,

where L0 is the length along the macroscopic pressure gra-

It has been shown that the cumulative size distribution dient in the medium. Note that DT = 1 represents a straight

of pores in porous media follows the fractal scaling law capillary path, and a higher value of DT corresponds to a

[21,22]: highly tortuous capillary.

Df

Based on the above fractal characters of pores and tor-

N ðL P kÞ ¼ ðkmax =kÞ ð2Þ tuous capillaries in porous media, a fractal model for resis-

tance of ﬂow in porous media is derived in the following

where k is the diameter of pores, kmax is the maximum

section.

diameter of pores, N is the cumulative population of pores

whose sizes are greater than or equal to k, and Df is the

fractal dimension for pores, with 1 < Df < 2 in two dimen- 3. Fractal model for ﬂow resistances

sions and 2 < Df < 3 in three dimensions.

It is evident that the total number of pores, from the 3.1. The viscous energy loss along the ﬂow path at low

smallest diameter to the largest diameter, can be obtained Reynolds numbers

from Eq. (2) as

In this model, we assume that a porous medium is com-

Df

N t ðL P kmin Þ ¼ ðkmax =kmin Þ ð3Þ prised of a bundle of tortuous capillaries. The ﬂow rate

through a tortuous capillary is given by modifying the well

Diﬀerentiating on both sides of Eq. (2) results in

known Hagen–Poiseulle equation as [28]

dN ¼ Df kDmax

f

kðDf þ1Þ dk ð4Þ p DP 1 k4

qðkÞ ¼ ð10Þ

Dividing Eq. (4) by (3) yields 128 Lt l

J. Wu, B. Yu / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 50 (2007) 3925–3932 3927

integrating the individual ﬂow rate, q(k), over the entire

range of pores/capillaries from the minimum pore size kmin

to the maximum pore size kmax. According to Eqs. (4), (9)

and (10), we have [21]

Z kmax

Q¼ qðkÞ dN ðkÞ

kmin

p Dp1 Df

¼ L1DT k3þD T

ð11Þ

128l L0 3 þ DT Df 0 max

A = Ap/e. The total pore area Ap can be obtained by

Z kmax 2 " 2Df #

pk pDf 2 kmin

Ap ¼ dN ¼ k 1

kmin 4 4ð2 Df Þ max kmax

Fig. 1. An idealized pore–throat model.

ð12Þ

Thus, the total cross area A is DT) aﬀecting the ﬂow resistance are not revealed. Eq. (17)

" 2Df # also indicates that the maximum pose size signiﬁcantly

Ap pDf 2 kmin

A¼ ¼ k 1 ð13Þ inﬂuences the pressure drop. However, Blake-Kozeny

e 4eð2 Df Þ max kmax equation does not show this dependence. The following is

devoted to deriving a simple model for the maximum pore

Due to [27] size.

2Df Based on the idealized pore–throat model as shown in

kmin

e¼ ð14Þ Fig. 1 for ﬂow through porous media, the area of the unit

kmax

cell is

So, the total cross sectional area A of a unit cell perpendic-

pD2p

ular to the ﬂow direction is S¼ ð18Þ

4ð1 eÞ

p Df 1 e 2

A¼ kmax ð15Þ The area of the pore is

4 2 Df e

Thus, the superﬁcial velocity is pD2p pD2p 1

S p; max ¼S ¼ 1 ð19Þ

4 4 ð1 eÞ

1 Dp1 2 Df e

vs ¼ Q=A ¼ L1DT k1þD T

ð16Þ

32l L0 3 þ DT Df 1 e 0 max The irregular geometry of the macro-pore area is approxi-

mated as a circular pore as

According to Eq. (16), we can get the pressure drop across

p

the length L0 along the macroscopic pressure gradient as S p; max ¼ k2max ð20Þ

4

Dp1 32lvs 3 þ DT Df 1 e 1

¼ 1DT ð17Þ From Eqs. (19) and (20), kmax can be obtained as

L0 L0 2 Df e k1þD

max

T

rﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

e

Eq. (17) depicts the pressure drop caused by the viscous en- kmax ¼ Dp ð21Þ

1e

ergy loss along the ﬂow path. This pressure drop is linearly

proportional to the superﬁcial velocity. Eq. (17) is similar Eq. (21) is a simple model for the maximum pore size,

to Blake-Kozeny equation, which represents the viscous which is related to porosity and the equivalent mean diam-

energy loss. Note that the empirical constant 150 in eter Dp. It is evident that if porosity e = 0, kmax = 0; if

Blake-Kozeny equation has no physical meaning and is porosity e = 1, kmax is inﬁnity. This is consistent with the

independent of porosity. Whereas every parameter in Eq. practical situations. Eq. (21) also indicates that the maxi-

(17) has clear physical meaning, and the viscous energy loss mum pore size kmax is proportional to the mean particle

expressed by Eq. (17) depends on ﬂuid viscosity, pore size, diameter Dp. This is also consistent with the physical situ-

ﬂuid velocity, porosity, pore area dimension Df and the tor- ation. In Eq. (17), kmax is determined by Eq. (21).

tuosity fractal dimension DT. However, Blake-Kozeny Eq. (17) can also be written as the dimensionless form:

equation only depends on ﬂuid viscosity, particle size, ﬂuid 3

Dp1 qDp e3 32 3 þ DT Df Dp

2

¼ 1DT 1þD

Rep ð22Þ

L0 l2 ð1 eÞ L0 2 Df kmax T

pore size distribution described by the fractal dimension Df

and capillary tortuosity described by the fractal dimension where Rep = (Dpqvs/l)(1 e)1 is the Reynolds number.

3928 J. Wu, B. Yu / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 50 (2007) 3925–3932

3.2. The kinetic energy loss at high Reynolds numbers 3 1 5 qv2t

DP 2 ¼ qghf ¼ þ 4 2 ð33Þ

2 b 2b 2

In Fig. 1, the ratio of pore diameter (BF + Dp = b) to

BF þD The average velocity in a straight pipe/channel is

throat diameter (BF) is deﬁned by b, i.e. b ¼ BF p , and l

is the length of a pore–throat unit. a1 and a2 represent dL0

the cross sectional areas. v0 ¼ ð34Þ

dt

The length of a pore–throat unit is assumed to be l = b,

and based on Eq. (18), this yields Due to Eq. (9), we can get the relation between average

rﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ velocity vt in a tortuous capillary and average velocity v0

pﬃﬃﬃ p

l ¼ b ¼ BF þ Dp ¼ S ¼ Dp ð23Þ in a straight capillary as follows

4ð1 eÞ

vt ¼ dLt =dt ¼ DT L0ðDT 1Þ kð1DT Þv0 ð35Þ

Thus, we obtain

rﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ Due to overlapping of particles randomly distributed in a

p

BF ¼ Dp 1 ð24Þ porous medium, the ﬂuid passes not only through the max-

4ð1 eÞ imum macro-pores but also through the narrow channels

BF þ Dp 1 with the width of BF, and these maximum pores and the

b¼ ¼ qﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ ð25Þ

BF narrow channels may be in the same ﬂow direction. Thus,

1 2 ð1eÞ p the average pore size k in Eq. (35) may be taken as

Now, we consider the kinetic/local energy loss. The loss k ¼ ðkmax þ BF Þ=2 ð36Þ

of head is expressed by [29]

X v2 Substituting Eqs. (21) and (24) into Eq. (36) yields

hf ¼ n t ð26Þ rﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ rﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

2g k ¼ ðkmax þ BF Þ ¼ Dp e

þ

p

1 ð37Þ

2 2 1e 4ð1 eÞ

where vt is the real average velocity in a throat of cross sec-

tion area a1 (see Fig. 1), and n represents the coeﬃcient of Inserting Eq. (35) into Eq. (33) results in

kinetic/local energy loss. The coeﬃcient for a sudden

3 1 5 q ðD 1Þ

½DT L0 T kð1DT Þ v20

expanding pipe/channel is [29] 2

Dp2 ¼ qghf ¼ þ ð38Þ

2 b4 2b2 2

a1 2

ne ¼ 1 ð27Þ

a Due to the relation between the superﬁcial velocity vs

where a is the cross sectional area of the pore. For a sudden and the average velocity v0 , v0 ¼ vs =e, Eq. (38) is rewritten

contracting pipe/channel of cross section area a2, the coef- as

ﬁcient is [29] 3 1 5 qv2s 2 ð2DT 2Þ ð22DT Þ

Dp2 ¼ qghf ¼ þ 4 2 DT L0 k ð39Þ

a2 2 b 2b 2e2

nc ¼ 0:5 1 ð28Þ

a

Eq. (39) represents the pressure drop along a pore–throat,

So, the local loss of head caused by the sudden expanding and the pressure drop per unit length is then

pipe/channel is

2 2 Dp2 3 1 5 qv2s 1 2 ð2DT 2Þ ð22DT Þ

v2e 1 ve ¼ þ 4 2 DT L0 k ð40Þ

hfe ¼ ne ¼ 1 2 ð29Þ l 2 b 2b 2e2 l

2g b 2g

Eq. (40) denotes that the kinetic/local energy loss is linearly

and the local loss of head caused by the sudden contracted proportional to v2s , which (vs) as related to Eq. (16). Eq.

pipe/channel is (40) represents the kinetic energy loss and is similar to

Burke-Plummer equation. However, Burke-Plummer equa-

1 v2 v2

hfc ¼ 0:5 1 2 c ¼ nc c ð30Þ tion contains an empirical constant 1.75, whereas there is

b 2g 2g

no empirical constant in Eq. (40), in which every parameter

Due to continuity of ﬂow rate, we have has clear physical meaning. Eq. (40) is expressed as a func-

q ¼ a1ve ¼ a2vc ð31Þ tion of the pore–throat ratio, porosity, ﬂuid property, pore

size, velocity, and fractal dimensions Df and DT. While

Since a1 = a2, ve ¼ vc ¼ vt . Adding Eqs. (29) and (30) re- Burke-Plummer equation does not reveal the dependences

sults in the total loss of head of the pore–throat ratio, pore size, fractal dimensions Df

and DT on the pressure drop. Therefore, the physical prin-

v2 3 1 5 v2

hf ¼ hfe þ hfc ¼ ðn1 þ n2 Þ t ¼ þ 4 2 t ð32Þ ciples of the kinetic energy loss are clearly revealed in the

2g 2 b 2b 2g

proposed model Eq. (40).

The pressure drop across the pore–throat unit with length l Eq. (40) can also be expressed in terms of the dimension-

then is less form:

J. Wu, B. Yu / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 50 (2007) 3925–3932 3929

2 r

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

2 3

Dp qD3p e3

G2 ¼ 2 pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

1 ﬃ

1 þ 47 1

l l2 ð1 eÞ3 16 1 pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ 1e

s¼ 6 1 þ 1 e þ 1 e p ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ 7 ð46Þ

2DT 2 24 2 1 1e 5

3 1 5 Dp e 2 L0

¼ þ D Re2p ð41Þ

2 b4 2b2 2l ð1 eÞ T

k

Interested readers may consult reference [30] for the gen-

eral behavior of the fractal dimension DT, and for the sen-

3.3. Total pressure drop sitivity analyses of DT on the ﬂow resistance/permeability,

readers may consult Ref. [21].

The total pressure drop per unit length is the sum of the Eq. (43) is now rewritten as the dimensionless form,

viscous energy loss and kinetic/local energy loss along the G ¼ G1 þ G2

ﬂow path, i.e. 2

1 32 3 þ DT Df Dp

Dp1 Dp2 32lvs 3 þ DT Df 1 e 1 ¼ Rep

þ ¼ 1DT /s L1D

0

T 2 Df k1þD

max

T

L0 l L0 2 Df e k1þD

max

T

2DT 2

2DT 2 1 3 1 5 Dp e 2 L0

3 1 5 qv2s 1 2 L0 þ 2 þ DT Re2p

þ þ 4 2 D ð42Þ /s 2 b4 2b2 2l ð1 eÞ k

2 b 2b 2e2 l

T

k

ð47Þ

Eq. (42) is similar to Ergun equation (1), which has two

and Ergun equation is also be rewritten as the dimension-

empirical constants, 150 and 1.75. Whereas there is no

less form, i.e.

empirical constant in Eq. (42) and every parameter in Eq.

3

(42) has the clear physical meaning, and more physical DP qDp e3

principles are revealed in Eq. (42). ¼ 150Rep þ 1:75Re2p ð48Þ

L0 l2 ð1 eÞ3

However, in reality, not all the pores/capillaries are

spherical, so Eq. (42) is modiﬁed by introducing /s, called Fig. 2 compares the dimensionless ﬂow resistances pre-

sphericity of particles [7], then the modiﬁed equation is dicted respectively by Eqs. (22) and (47) versus Reynolds

expressed as numbers when Rep < 10 for the spherical particles. The

results show that when Reynolds numbers Rep < 2.75, the

Dp1 Dp2 1 32lvs 3 þ DT Df 1 e 1

þ ¼ relative error between the predicted values by the two equa-

L0 l /s L1D

0

T 2 Df e k1þD

max

T

tions is less than 10%, This means that the pressure drop is

2 2DT 2

1 3 1 5 qvs 1 2 L0 mainly determined by the viscous energy loss Eq. (22) at

þ 2 þ 4 2 DT low Reynolds numbers, and Eq. (22) can be a good approx-

/s 2 b 2b 2e2 l k

imation to the ﬂow resistance at low Reynolds numbers.

ð43Þ However, at higher Reynolds numbers, Eq. (47) should

1=3 be used.

where /s ¼ ð36pV 2P =S 3P Þ [8], here VP and SP are volume

Fig. 3 compares the dimensionless ﬂow resistances pre-

and surface area of particles, with /s = 1 for spherical par-

dicted respectively by Eqs. (41) and (47) versus the modi-

ticles and /s < 1 for other shaped particles.

ﬁed Reynolds numbers as Rep > 220. The results show

that when the modiﬁed Reynolds numbers Rep > 220, the

4. Results and discussion

is smaller than the maximum pore size in porous media by 800

0.15

Relative error

at least two orders of magnitude. In this work we thus

Relative error

0.10

0.05

(8) as

G1, G

400

lnð1 eÞ 0.00

0 1 2 3 4

D ¼ dE ; ð44Þ Rep

lnðd min =d max Þ

200

and the fractal dimension DT for tortuous capillaries can be Eq. (47)

obtained from Eq. (9) as Eq. (22)

ln s 0

DT ¼ 1 þ ð45Þ 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

lnðL0 =kÞ Rep

where

k is determined by Eq. (37), and the tortuosity s is Fig. 2. A comparison on the dimensionless ﬂow resistance versus Rep at

deﬁned by s = Lt/L0 and is expressed as [30] Rep < 10, e = 0.40, Dp = 10 mm.

3930 J. Wu, B. Yu / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 50 (2007) 3925–3932

0.20 5

6

2.4x10

2.5x10 Present model Eq. (47)

0.15

5

Relative error

Relative error

2.0x10 Ergun equation (48)

6 0.10 Experiment data

2.0x10

5

0.05 1.6x10

6

G2, G

1.5x10 0.00 5

200 400 600 800 1000 1.2x10

G

Rep

6

1.0x10 4

8.0x10

5

5.0x10 Eq. (47) 4

4.0x10

Eq. (41)

0.0 0.0

200 400 600 800 1000 1200 0 40 80 120 160 200

Rep Re p

Fig. 3. A comparison on the dimensionless ﬂow resistance versus Rep at Fig. 5. A comparison among the present model Eq. (47), Ergun equation

Rep > 100, e = 0.40, Dp = 10 mm. (48) and experiment data for Trilobes particles [8] at e = 0.511, /s = 0.63

and Dp = 1.41 mm.

tions is less than 10%, This means that at high Reynolds

numbers the ﬂow resistance is dominated by the kinetic/

local energy loss Eq. (41). 1000

It should be noted that Eq. (47) is the general form for Present Eq. (42)

resistance of ﬂow through porous media. From Eq. (47) it Ergun Eq. (1)

Pressure drop (pa/m)

800 Experiment data

can be seen that the pressure drop for ﬂow at low speed (or

at low Reynolds number) is mainly determined by the vis- 600

cous energy loss, which is represented by the ﬁrst term on

the right-hand side of Eq. (47). In this case, the irregularity 400

of porous shape can be ignored. At high speed (or at high

Reynolds number) the irregularity of porous shapes has the 200

signiﬁcant inﬂuence on ﬂow resistance, and the kinetic/

local energy loss dominates the pressure drop, which is 0

mainly determined by the second term on the right-hand 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8

side of Eq. (47). Eq. (47) is similar to Ergun equation, vs (m/s)

which has two empirical constants 150 and 1.75. Whereas

Fig. 6. Pressure drop when air ﬂows through a bed packed with glass balls

there is no empirical constant and every parameter has [31].

the clear physical meaning in Eq. (47).

Fig. 4 compares the present model predictions by Eq.

(47) with those by Ergun equation (48) and the experiment

data for beds packed with Quadralobes particles [8] of

/s = 0.593, Dp = 1.26 mm at e = 0.502. Fig. 5 compares

the present model predictions by Eq. (47) with those by

2.0x10

5 Ergun equation (48) and the experiment data [8] for beds

Present model Eq. (47) packed with Trilobes particles of diﬀerent shapes of

5

Ergun equation (48)

1.6x10 Experiment data /s = 0.63, Dp = 1.41 mm at e = 0.511. Fig. 6 compares

the present model predictions (at e = 0.433) by Eq. (42)

5

1.2x10 with those by Ergun equation (1) and the experiment data

[31], which were measured for beds packed with spherical

G

4

8.0x10 particles of Dp = 10 mm and L = 0.5 m [31], L is the real

length of a porous sample. From Figs. 4–6, it can be seen

4

4.0x10 that the model predictions are in good agreement with

the experiment data with non-sphericity particles. How-

0.0 ever, Ergun equation underestimates the resistance, and

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180

this may be explained that Ergun equation may only be

Re p suitable for spherical particles and for his experimental

Fig. 4. A comparison among the present model Eq. (47), Ergun equation data.

(48) and experiment data for Quadralobes particles [8] at e = 0.471, If Eq. (42) is written as the other dimensionless form, we

/s = 0.593 and Dp = 1.26 mm. obtain

J. Wu, B. Yu / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 50 (2007) 3925–3932 3931

8000 Dp1 Dp2 Dp e3

Fk ¼ þ 2

7000

L0 l qv ð1 eÞ

2DT 2

6000 1 3 1 5 Dp e L0

¼ 2 þ 4 2 D2T

5000 /s 2 b 2b 2l ð1 eÞ k

2

1 32 3 þ DT Df Dp

fv

4000 1

þ 1DT ð1þD Þ

ð51Þ

3000 /s L0 2 Df kmax Rep

T

2000 Present model Eq. (49) Fig. 8 compares the present model predictions by Eq. (51)

Ergun equation (50)

1000

Experiment data

with the experiment data [6] for cylindrical particles. From

0 Fig. 8 it can be found that the model predictions also pres-

1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 ent good agreement with the experimental data.

Re p

5. Conclusions

Fig. 7. A comparison among the present model Eq. (49), Ergun equation

(50) and experiment data for ball particles [32] at e = 0.364, /s = 1, and

Dp = 12 mm. We have shown an analytical model for resistance of

ﬂuid ﬂow in porous media based on the capillary model

and pore–throat model as well as the fractal characters of

Dp1 Dp2 D2p e3 pores and capillaries. The proposed model is expressed as

fv ¼ fv1 þ fv2 ¼ þ

L0 l lvs ð1 eÞ2 a function of the pore–throat ratio, porosity, ﬂuid prop-

2 erty, pore/capillary and particle size, ﬂuid velocity (or Rey-

32 3 þ DT Df Dp 3 1 5 Dp

¼ 1DT þ þ nolds number) and fractal characters (Df and DT) of pores

L0 2 Df ð1þDT Þ

kmax 2 b4 2b2 2l and capillaries in porous media. There is no empirical con-

2DT 2 stant and every parameter has clear physical meaning in the

e L0

D2T Rep ð49Þ proposed model. The physical principles of the viscous

ð1 eÞ k

energy loss along the ﬂow path and the kinetic energy loss

Similarly, if Ergun equation (1) is written as the other are clearly revealed. The model predictions are compared

dimensionless form, we have with experiment data, and good agreement is found

between them. The validity of the propose model is thus

DP D2p e3 veriﬁed.

¼ 150 þ 1:75Rep ð50Þ

L0 lvs ð1 eÞ2 It should be pointed out that the accuracy of the present

fractal model may crucially depends on the correct determi-

Fig. 7 compares the present model predictions by Eq. (49) nation of sphericity /s of particles, the maximum pore or

with those by Ergun equation (50) and the experiment data particle size, the ratio of kmin/kmax, and the ratio of pore

[32] for beds packed with spherical particles of to throat. Therefore, the correct determination of these

Dp = 12 mm, e = 0.364. From Fig. 7, it can be found that parameters is critical for successfully predicting the resis-

the model predictions also present much better agreement tance of ﬂow in porous media.

with the experimental data than those by Ergun equation.

If Eq. (43) is written as Acknowledgement

10

4 This work was supported by the National Natural Sci-

Eq. (51), ε=0.41 Dp=2.82mm ence Foundation of China through Grant Number

Eq. (51), ε=0.414 Dp=2.24mm 10572052.

3

10 Experiment, ε=0.41 Dp=2.82mm

Experiment, ε=0.414 Dp=2.24mm References

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