Numerical investigation of nanoparticles transport in anisotropic porous media

Amgad Salama, Ardiansyah Negara, Mohamed El-Amin, Shuyu Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


In this work the problem related to the transport of nanoparticles in anisotropic porous media is investigated numerically using the multipoint flux approximation. Anisotropy of porous media properties are an essential feature that exist almost everywhere in subsurface formations. In anisotropic media, the flux and the pressure gradient vectors are no longer collinear and therefore interesting patterns emerge. The transport of nanoparticles in subsurface formations is affected by several complex processes including surface charges, heterogeneity of nanoparticles and soil grain collectors, interfacial dynamics of double-layer and many others. We use the framework of the theory of filtration in this investigation. Processes like particles deposition, entrapment, as well as detachment are accounted for. From the numerical methods point of view, traditional two-point flux finite difference approximation cannot handle anisotropy of media properties. Therefore, in this work we use the multipoint flux approximation (MPFA). In this technique, the flux components are affected by more neighboring points as opposed to the mere two points that are usually used in traditional finite volume methods. We also use the experimenting pressure field approach which automatically constructs the global system of equations by solving multitude of local problems. This approach facilitates to a large extent the construction of the global system. A set of numerical examples is considered involving two-dimensional rectangular domain. A source of nanoparticles is inserted in the middle of the anisotropic layer. We investigate the effects of both anisotropy angle and anisotropy ratio on the transport of nanoparticles in saturated porous media. It is found that the concentration plume and porosity contours follow closely the principal direction of anisotropy of permeability of the central domain.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-130
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Contaminant Hydrology
StatePublished - Jul 13 2015

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Chemistry


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