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Advanced drying theory of capillary porous media from high-performance-computing pore network simulations
MSc. Faeez Ahmad
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) ;
Drying of porous media is central to many environmental and engineering applications. In this context, this project aims at performing a major breakthrough in the modelling of the drying process in capillary porous media. The work is based on a combination of state of the art pore network modelling, pore network simulations and new experiments.
Two- and three-equation continuum models are developed taking into account the non-local equilibrium condition of the vapour and from the distinction between the percolating and non-percolating liquid clusters. The secondary capillary structures corresponding to the liquid trapped in various geometrical singularities of the pore space is characterised experimentally and from numerical simulations and taken into account as a distinct and specific phase in the continuum models.
The pore network models are developed so as to perform high performance computing (HPC) simulations, which is necessary to meet the length scale separation constraints allowing the computation of continuum model parameters from pore network simulations.
Experiments of drying with a dissolved species (salt) are performed in order to obtain additional validation of the pore network and continuum models developed in the project, noting that situations where a dissolved species is present in the liquid are of paramount importance in many applications. In the present project, the formation and distribution of salt crystallisation spots are used as key validation factors of the models and as physical signatures of the drying process, especially as regards the impact of the secondary capillary structures developing during drying.

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