Local thermodynamic description of isothermal single-phase flow in porous media
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Darcy's law for porous media transport is given a new local thermodynamic basis in terms of the grand potential of confined fluids. The local effective pressure gradient is determined using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics, and the hydraulic conductivity and permeability are investigated. The transport coefficients are determined for single-phase flow in face-centered cubic lattices of solid spheres. The porosity changed from that in the closest packing of spheres to near unity in a pure fluid, while the fluid mass density varied from that of a dilute gas to a dense liquid. The permeability varied between 5.7 × 10 −20 m² and 5.5 × 10 −17 m², showing a porosity-dependent Klinkenberg effect. Both transport coefficients depended on the average fluid mass density and porosity but in different ways. These results set the stage for a non-equilibrium thermodynamic investigation of coupled transport of multi-phase fluids in complex media.