Transport phenomena in structures consisting of a porous medium and an adjacent free flow region are relevant in a wide range of industrial (fuel cells, filtration and drying processes, food processing), environmental (groundwater pollution, infiltration of overland flows during rainfalls, evaporation) and medical (flows in blood vessels and biological tissues, transport of drugs and nutrients) applications.
One of the crucial points of all these applications can be found at the interface between the two distinct flow regimes: Mass transfer in this region is decisive for the efficiency of fuel cells, the severeness of groundwater pollution and the transport of drugs and nutrients from blood vessels to surrounding tissues, respectively. In order to gain deeper insight into the coupling dynamics at the interface we use numerical simulations.
In this project we aim at constructing robust and efficient numerical algorithms for the coupling between free flow and porous media flow. The focus lies on two different approaches: The first approach (pursued at Zentrum Mathematik) works within a homo-genized framework and concentrates on finding adequate numerical methods and modelling strategies, which are based on a non-isothermal compositional model with two phases in porous media and a single phase in the free flow region. The second approach (pursued at Fachgebiet Hydromechanik) aims at developing and verifying interface conditions and investigating mass exchange processes over the interface with laminar and turbulent single phase flow. Direct numerical simulation of the flow at fully resolved pore scale is used in this approach.
Combining the results of both approaches we aim at developing computational tools enabling the simulation of coupled free flow and multiphase porous media flow.