The research of Environmental Hydrogeology Group is multi-disciplinary and multi-scale. It concerns the flow of fluids, transport of reactive solutes, colloidal particles, and heat, as well as electrokinetic effects, in (highly) deformable porous media. It commonly consists of a combination of theoretical, computational, and experimental studies.
The Environmental Hydrogeology group and its laboratory (Multiscale Porous Media Lab) perform research projects related to veracity of porous media types including natural porous media (such as soil and rocks), industrial porous media (e.g., paper, diapers, fuel cells), and biological tissues (e.g. bone and brain tissues). For more details on our activities and collaborations you may contact Dr Amir Raoof.
Multicomponent reactive solute transport, particle transport, and electrokinetics
Pore-scale modelling provides opportunities to study transport phenomena in fundamental ways based on the underlying pore scale processes. This offers the best hope for bridging the gap between macroscopic behaviours and pore scale processes through consistent upscaling.
Various important phenomena in porous media are often governed by combined effects of (multi-phase) fluid flow, (multi-component) chemical reactions and electrokinetic effects. Examples are reactive solute transport in aquifers, geological storage of energy, enhance oil recovery, radioactive waste storage, CO2 sequestration as well as transport in industrial porous media such as fuel cells. PoreFlow is a pore-network model capable of simulating multi-component reactive and adsorptive transport under saturated or multi-phase flow conditions. The pore spaces may dynamically evolve due to dissolution and precipitation reactions and flow can be driven by pressure or electric potential in the presence of electrokinetic effects.
Several complex formulations have been used for more accurate modelling of transport problems in the presence of a non-wetting phase. This is done, for example, by refining the discretization within drained pores. An implicit numerical scheme is used to solve the governing equations together with an efficient substitution method to considerably minimize computational time.
Examples of pore scale modelling can be found at: www.poreflow.com
The Multiscale Porous Media Lab is a state-of-the-art facility for performing research on complex and coupled multiphase flow and reactive transport in porous materials. This involves experimental work combined with real-time imaging techniques together with several advanced numerical modelling techniques. Using this integrated experimental and computational laboratory, we are able to perform cutting-edge research in diverse fields of engineering, geosciences, and biomechanics. Current projects involve the study of ink penetration into paper, characterization of moisture absorbing products, unsaturated flow in a bed of highly swelling particles, and flow and transport in human bone.
The staff of the Hydrogeology group actively participates in a Bachelor, three Master's programmes and coordinate several courses.
- Hydrogeological transport phenomena
- Principles of groundwater flow
- Unsaturated zone hydrology
- Environmental hydrogeology