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Computational experiments on three-dimensional molecular diffusion in porous media

V.J. Alarcon, W. Kingery and J. Zhu
Mississippi State University, US

Keywords:
flow-through reactor, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), thermocycling, microchannel, lab-on-a-chip, multiphysics simulation

Abstract:
Estimations of apparent diffusion coefficients usually consist of curve-fitting the output of one-dimensional models to experimental laboratory-measured data from porous aggregates shaped in different forms. In this research a computational exploration is presented on the alternative use of three-dimensional models for the same purpose. Saturated conditions and absence of retention mechanisms for the solute were assumed. The outputs of the three di-mensional models were averaged and compared to the results generated by the one-dimensional formulations. The comparison showed that there are signifi-cant discrepancies in the concentration values output by the models. Percent differences ranging from 30 to 90% were calculated. Those different estima-tions suggest that different values of the apparent diffusion coefficient may be obtained if the three-dimensional solution of the diffusion equation would be used to match experimental results.

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