Kevin Moroney (U. Limerick, Ireland) will give a hybrid talk in the amphitheater (E018). From coffee brewing to drug delivery: modelling transport processes in porous media.
The extraction of chemical species from porous matrices using a liquid solvent is an important operation in many applications. Sometimes the goal is simply to maximise the overall quantity of material extracted. In other cases, careful control of both the extraction rate and final extracted quantity of multiple species may be required. In either instance, it is desirable to develop physically-accurate models to understand the important mechanisms driving behaviour and predict the time evolution of extraction for a particular set of material and operating parameters.
In this talk, I will discuss modelling of mass transport in porous systems applied to coffee brewing and drug release from pharmaceutical granules. The goal in each case is to model the quantity of one or more chemical species extracted over time based on the physical properties of the system. These systems have highly complex porous microstructures, such that, even if the geometry could be exactly determined, direct simulation of fluid flow and mass transport in such a domain would be computationally prohibitive. Traditional mathematical modelling involving continuum modelling, coupled with more recent volume averaging techniques, are applied to arrive at a set of macroscopic equations governing transport. Theoretically, the effective macroscale transport properties can derived by solving a cell problem on the microscale, although in this work empirical correlations are adopted. The results of some simple macroscopic models will be outlined and challenges and future developments discussed. While some results have been obtain to date, this work is very much in development and comments and suggestions are welcome.