RESEARCH PAPERS: Transport in Porous Media

A Pore-Network Study of Bubble Growth in Porous Media Driven by Heat Transfer

[+] Author and Article Information
C. Satik, Y. C. Yortsos

Petroleum Engineering Program, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles CA 90089-1211

J. Heat Transfer 118(2), 455-462 (May 01, 1996) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2825866 History: Received October 01, 1994; Revised December 01, 1995; Online December 05, 2007


We present experimental and theoretical investigations of vapor phase growth in pore-network models of porous media. Visualization experiments of boiling of ethyl alcohol in horizontal etched-glass micromodels were conducted. The vapor phase was observed to grow into a disordered pattern following a sequence of pressurization and pore-filling steps. At sufficiently small cluster sizes, growth occurred “one pore at a time,” leading to invasion percolation patterns. Single-bubble (cluster) growth was next simulated with a pore-network simulator that includes heat transfer (convection and conduction), and capillary and viscous forces, although not gravity. A boundary in the parameter space was delineated that separates patterns of growth dictated solely by capillarity (invasion percolation) from other patterns. The region of validity of invasion percolation was found to decrease as the supersaturation (heat flux), the capillary number, the thermal diffusivity, and the vapor cluster size increase. Implications to continuum models are discussed.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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