Direct numerical simulation of hydrodynamic dispersion in open-cell solid foams

V. Chandra, S. Das, E.A.J.F. Peters (Corresponding author), J.A.M. Kuipers

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Fully resolved simulations of flow and mass transfer in a unit cell of structured open-cell foam catalysts are presented. Numerical studies are conducted on a uniform three-dimensional Cartesian grid where the fluid-solid interface coupling is enforced via a sharp interface Immersed Boundary technique. Several validation cases for the numerical method are presented followed by extensive calculations to quantify hydrodynamic dispersion in open-cell foams. In our study five different porosities of the idealized foam structure, represented by the spatially periodic Kelvin's unit cell, were considered. Dimensionless dispersion coefficients were calculated for varying Péclet numbers and flow directions using volume-averaging theory. Our numerical studies indicate that Taylor dispersion is the dominant mechanism for structured porous media in the Darcy-Brinkman flow regime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1305-1323
Number of pages19
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2019


  • Dispersion
  • Immersed boundary method
  • Numerical study
  • Open cell foams
  • Porous media
  • Volume averaging theory


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