A new matrix for multiphase couplings in a membrane porous medium

Xiaohui Chen, Manhui Wang, Michael A. Hicks, Hywel R. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The empirical Darcy's law of water transport in porous media, Fick's law of chemical diffusion, and Fourier's law of thermal transport have been widely used in geophysics/geochemistry for over 150 years. However, the strong couplings between water, temperature, and chemicals in a membrane porous medium have made these laws inapplicable and present a significant hurdle to the understanding of multiphase flow in such a material. Extensive experiments over the past century have observed chemical osmosis and thermal osmosis, but a model for understanding their underlying physicochemical basis has remained unavailable, because of the highly cross-disciplinary and multiscale-multiphase nature of the coupling. Based on the fundamental principles of nonequilibrium thermodynamics and mixture coupling theory, a rigorously theoretical and mathematical framework is proposed and a general model accounting for all of the coupled influences is developed. This leads to a simple and robust mathematical matrix for studying multiphase couplings in a membrane porous medium when all chemical components are electrically neutral.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-1153
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Coupling
  • Membrane porous media
  • Mixture coupling theory
  • Multiphase


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