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Flow and dispersion in anisotropic porous media: A lattice-Boltzmann study
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Different is the case when gases in porous media are considered. The typical molecular diffusion of gaseous species is of the order of 10−5 (m2/s), so the Db provides a useful estimate of the effective diffusion being larger than the pore scale induced effective diffusion.
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Given their capability of spreading active chemical species and collecting electricity, porous media made of carbon fibers are extensively used as diffusion layers in energy storage systems, such as redox flow batteries. In spite of this, the dispersion dynamics of species inside porous media is still not well understood and often lends itself to different interpretations. Actually, the microscopic design of efficient porous media, which can potentially and effectively improve the performances of flow batteries, is still an open challenge. The present study aims to investigate the effect of fibrous media micro-structure on dispersion, in particular the effect of fiber orientation on drag and dispersion dynamics. Several lattice-Boltzmann simulations of flows through differently oriented fibrous media coupled with Lagrangian simulations of particle tracers have been performed. Results show that orienting fibers preferentially along the streamwise direction minimizes the drag and maximizes the dispersion, which is the most desirable condition for diffusion layers in flow batteries’ applications.
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