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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Bridging Scales to Model Reactive Diffusive Transport in Porous Media


Two novel scale-bridging algorithms to model reaction-diffusion transport in porous media are presented. The algorithms are based on direct numerical simulations and couple the information of a micro-scale model, which accounts for the large field of view provided by micro X-ray computed tomography (X-ray CT), and a nano-scale model, which locally resolves transport in the fine structure extracted from nano X-ray CT. The micro-scale model is discretized in the through-plane direction into a 1D grid, where effective properties and internal boundaries are determined based on the results from the nano-scale model. The validated algorithms are used to examine transport of oxygen in precious group metal-free electrodes considering both zero- and first-order kinetics. Unlike conventional methods, the results show that the effective diffusivity is not a passive property but increases in regions where the reaction-rate coefficient is large. The proposed algorithms account for the multiscale coupling of reaction-diffusion transport and material microstructure, thus improving the predictions compared to conventional methods.

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