Validation of pore-scale simulations of hydrodynamic dispersion in random sphere packings

Siarhei Khirevich, Alexandra Höltzel, Ulrich Tallarek*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We employ the lattice Boltzmann method and random walk particle tracking to simulate the time evolution of hydrodynamic dispersion in bulk, random,monodisperse, hard-sphere packings with bed porosities (interparticle void volume fractions) between the random-close and the random-loose packing limit. Using Jodrey- Tory andMonte Carlo-based algorithms and a systematic variation of the packing protocols we generate a portfolio of packings, whose microstructures differ in their degree of heterogeneity (DoH). Because the DoH quantifies the heterogeneity of the void space distribution in a packing, the asymptotic longitudinal dispersion coefficient calculated for the packings increaseswith the packings'DoH.We investigate the influence of packing length (up to 150 dp, where dp is the sphere diameter) and grid resolution (up to 90 nodes per dp) on the simulated hydrodynamic dispersion coefficient, and demonstrate that the chosen packing dimensions of 10 dp×10 dp×70 dp and the employed grid resolution of 60 nodes per dp are sufficient to observe asymptotic behavior of the dispersion coefficient and to minimize finite size effects. Asymptotic values of the dispersion coefficients calculated for the generated packings are compared with simulated as well as experimental data from the literature and yield good to excellent agreement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-822
Number of pages22
JournalCommunications in Computational Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Degree of heterogeneity
  • Hydrodynamic dispersion
  • Packing algorithm
  • Packing microstructure
  • Random sphere packings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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