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Upscaling of transport processes in porous media with biofilms in equilibrium and non-equilibrium conditions

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Transport of biologically reactive dissolved solutes in a saturated porous medium including a biofilm-phase occurs in various technological applications such as in biochemical or environmental engineering. It is a complex process involving a wide variety of scales (from the bacteria-scale to the aquifer-heterogeneities-scale in the case of groundwater remediation) and processes (hydrodynamic, physicochemical and biochemical). This work is devoted to the upscaling of the pore-scale description of such processes. Firstly, one-equation macroscopic models for bio-reactive transport at the Darcy-scale have been developed by using the volume averaging method; they will be presented below. These one-equation models are valid for different limit cases of transport; their validity domains in terms of hydrodynamic and biochemical conditions will also be discussed. Finally, in order to illustrate such a theoretical development, an example of application to the operation of a packed bed reactor will be studied.

Keywords: biofilm; porous media; transport; upscaling; volume averaging

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Laboratoire Environnement, Geomecanique et Ouvrages, Nancy-Universite, Vandœuvre-les-Nancy, France

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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