Mesoscopic Modeling of Capillarity-Wettability Interaction
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Multiphase flows play an important role, not only in many natural processes, but also in several industrial applications, such as petroleum processing, fuel cells, power plants and boiling water reactors. Researchers have invested significant effort over the last few decades in the development of multidimensional, mathematical models in order to provide detailed insight into complex interacting multiphase flow situ- ations. Multiphase flows, in particular two-phase flows have been simulated using three methods: the volume of fluid, the level set method, and the front tracking method. These methods consider both phases with one set of equations and use a separate equation to simulate the behavior of the interface. However, the short inter- actions between two fluids are difficult to model with these techniques; for example, on a micro-scale level with the Knudsen number order of unity, the above men- tioned continuum mechanics approaches are not suitable. On the other hand, the microscale estimations for such systems based on the molecular dynamics approach are computationally expensive. The lattice Boltzmann method (LBM), which fo- cuses on the mesoscale, may be the best choice in such complex flow problems, being able to capture both macro and micro-flows. Besides being a particle method, the LBM can easily include interfacial phenomena. Color-fluid model, interparticle po- tential model, free energy model and mean field theory model are four main lattice Boltzmann based approaches for investigating two-phase flows. This method also has the added advantages of being easily coded and parallelized.
Supervisor: Amaresh Dalal