A double porosity model to describe both permeability change and dissolution processes

Yuichi Niibori, Hideo Usui, Taiji Chida, Hitoshi Mimura

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Cement is a practical material for constructing the geological disposal system of radioactive wastes. However, such materials alter groundwater up to 13 in pH around the repository, changing the permeability of natural barrier. So far, the authors have examined the relation of permeability change with dissolution process by flowing a high pH solution (NaOH, 0.1 mM) into a bed packed with amorphous silica particles. Here, the particle diameters were adjusted to a size fraction of 74 to 149 μ by sieving. Its specific surface area was estimated as 350 m2/g by the BET method using nitrogen gas. The experimental results showed that the permeability did not immediately change although the soluble silicic acid continuously flowed out of the packed bed. This study proposes a new mathematical model considering the diffusion and dissolution processes in the inner pore of the particle. This model assumed that each packed particle (74 to 149μ in diameter) consists of the sphereshaped aggregation of smaller particles (20 nm in diameter). OH-ions diffuse into the pore between such small particles, and simultaneously consumed by the reaction with small particles. The radius of the each packed particle (sphere-shaped aggregation of small particles) was defined by the length from the center of the aggregation to the region where the small particles still remains. Since the outer small particles more easily dissolve than inner small particles because of diffusion process of OH-ions, each packed particle gradually shrinks. The fundamental equations consist of a simple diffusion equation of spherical coordinates of OH-ions considering the reaction term, which is linked by the equation to describe the size change of small particles with time. Here, this model also considered a change (time and space) of the diffusion oefficient caused by the change of the porosity between small particles. Besides, the change of over-all permeability of the packed bed was evaluated by Kozeny-Carman equation and the calculated radii of packed particles. The dissolution rate constant already reported was used. The calculated result was able to well describe the experimental result, though there was no fitting parameter in the comparison with the experiment results. While the flow paths of underground cannot be simply simulated by a packed bed, this approach suggested that the dynamic behavior of permeability in a natural barrier depends also on nonuniformity of dissolution processes in inner pores (secondary pores) of minerals..

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRadiation Protection and Nuclear Technology Applications; Fuel Cycle, Radioactive Waste Management and Decommissioning; Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Coupled Codes; Reactor Physics and Transport Theory
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791845943
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event2014 22nd International Conference on Nuclear Engineering, ICONE 2014 - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 2014 Jul 72014 Jul 11

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Nuclear Engineering, Proceedings, ICONE


Other2014 22nd International Conference on Nuclear Engineering, ICONE 2014
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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