Non-isothermal flow in low permeable porous media: A comparison of Richards' and two-phase flow approaches

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The present work compares the performance of two alternative flow models for the simulation of thermal-hydraulic coupled processes in low permeable porous media: non-isothermal Richards and two-phase flow concepts. Both models take vaporization processes into account: however, the Richards model neglects dynamic pressure variations and bulk flow of the gaseous phase. For the comparison of the two approaches first published data from a laboratory experiment is studied involving thermally driven moisture flow in a partially saturated bentonite sample. Then a benchmark test of longer-term thermal-hydraulic behavior in the engineered barrier system of a geological nuclear waste repository is analyzed (DECOVALEX ... continued below

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Wang, W.; Rutqvist, J.; Gorke, U.-J.; Birkholzer, J.T. & Kolditz, O. March 15, 2010.

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The present work compares the performance of two alternative flow models for the simulation of thermal-hydraulic coupled processes in low permeable porous media: non-isothermal Richards and two-phase flow concepts. Both models take vaporization processes into account: however, the Richards model neglects dynamic pressure variations and bulk flow of the gaseous phase. For the comparison of the two approaches first published data from a laboratory experiment is studied involving thermally driven moisture flow in a partially saturated bentonite sample. Then a benchmark test of longer-term thermal-hydraulic behavior in the engineered barrier system of a geological nuclear waste repository is analyzed (DECOVALEX project). It was found that both models can be used to reproduce the vaporization process if the intrinsic permeability is relative high. However, when a thermal-hydraulic coupled problem has the same low intrinsic permeability for both the liquid and the gas phase, only the two-phase flow approach provides reasonable results.

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  • Journal Name: Environmental Earth Sciences; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: 2010

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  • Report No.: LBNL-3488E
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 989845
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1013780

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  • March 15, 2010

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  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Oct. 17, 2017, 6:23 p.m.

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Wang, W.; Rutqvist, J.; Gorke, U.-J.; Birkholzer, J.T. & Kolditz, O. Non-isothermal flow in low permeable porous media: A comparison of Richards' and two-phase flow approaches, article, March 15, 2010; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1013780/: accessed October 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.