Statistical analysis of packed beds, the origin of short-range disorder, and its impact on eddy dispersion

Siarhei Khirevich, Anton Daneyko, Alexandra Höltzel, Andreas Seidel-Morgenstern, Ulrich Tallarek*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


We quantified the microstructural disorder of packed beds and correlated it with the resulting eddy dispersion. For this purpose we designed a set of bulk (unconfined) monodisperse random sphere packings with a systematic, protocol-dependent degree of microstructural heterogeneity, covering a porosity range from the random-close to the random-loose packing limit (e{open}=0.366-0.46). With the precise knowledge of particle positions, size, and shape we conducted a Voronoï tessellation of all packings and correlated the statistical moments of the Voronoï volume distributions (standard deviation and skewness) with the porosity and the protocol-dependent microstructural disorder. The deviation of the Voronoï volume distributions from the delta function of a crystalline packing describes the origin of short-range disorder of the investigated random packings. Eddy dispersion was simulated over a wide range of reduced velocities (0.5 ≤ ν ≤ 750) and analyzed with the comprehensive Giddings equation. Transient dispersion was found to correlate with the spatial scales of heterogeneity in the packings. The analysis of short-range disorder based on the Voronoï volume distributions revealed a strong correlation with the short-range interchannel contribution to eddy dispersion, whereas transchannel dispersion was relatively little affected. The presented approach defines a strictly scientific route to the key morphology-transport relationships of current and future chromatographic supports, including their morphological reconstruction, statistical analysis, and the correlation with relevant transport phenomena. It also guides us in our understanding, comparison, and optimization of the diverse packing algorithms and protocols used in simulations and experimental studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4713-4722
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
Issue number28
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Degree of heterogeneity
  • Direct numerical simulation
  • Disorder
  • Eddy dispersion
  • High-performance computing
  • Lattice-Boltzmann method
  • Microstructure
  • Ordered packing
  • Packed beds
  • Packing method
  • Random packing
  • Statistical analysis
  • Voronoï tessellation
  • Voronoï volume distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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