Incomplete Mixing and Reactions - from Batch Experiments to Natural Environments

Seminar Series: Environmental Sciences

03/14/2013 | 04:00 pm | Room 48-316

Join us for a weekly series of Environmental Sciences topics by MIT faculty and students, as well as guest lecturers from around the globe.

In order for two items to react they must physically come into contact with one another. In the lab we often measure reaction rates by forcing two species to continuously mix together. However, in real systems such forced mixing mechanisms may often not exist and so a natural question arises: How do we take measurements from our well mixed laboratory experiments and use them to make meaningful predictions at scales of interest? In this talk we propose a novel modeling framework that aims precisely to do this. To show its applicability we will discuss it as related to a few examples relevant to hydrogeologists: (i) mixing driven reactions in a quasi-well-mixed laboratory setup (ii) mixing driven reactions in a porous column experiment and (iii) mixing in a highly heterogeneous aquifer with a broad range of velocity and spatial scales.

While this work was originally motivated by chemical reactions in porous media and hydrogeology, the modeling framework is much more general than this and should be applicable to a broad range of problems. Also, the term reaction, as defined within our framework, can loosely be defined as an event where two items come together to produce something else; it is not in any way limited to purely chemical reactions.

Event web page

Diogo Bolster, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering & Geological Sciences, University of Notre Dame