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Title: Pore and Continuum Scale Study of the Effect of Subgrid Transport Heterogeneity on Redox Reaction Rates

A micromodel system with a pore structure for heterogeneous flow and transport was used to investigate the effect of subgrid transport heterogeneity on redox reaction rates. Hematite reductive dissolution by injecting a reduced form of flavin mononucleotide (FMNH2) at variable flow rates was used as an example to probe the variations of redox reaction rates in different subgrid transport domains. Experiments, pore-scale simulations, and macroscopic modeling were performed to measure and simulate in-situ hematite reduction and to evaluate the scaling behavior of the redox reaction rates from the pore to macroscopic scales. The results indicated that the measured pore-scale rates of hematite reduction were consistent with the predictions from a pore scale reactive transport model. A general trend is that hematite reduction followed reductant transport pathways, starting from the advection-dominated pores toward the interior of diffusion-dominated domains. Two types of diffusion domains were considered in the micromodel: a micropore diffusion domain, which locates inside solid grains or aggregates where reactant transport is limited by diffusion; and a macropore diffusion domain, which locates at wedged, dead-end pore spaces created by the grain-grain contacts. The rate of hematite reduction in the advection-dominated domain was faster than those in the diffusion-controlled domains, andmore » the rate in the macropore diffusion domain was faster than that in the micropore domain. The reduction rates in the advection and macropore diffusion domains increased with increasing flow rate, but were affected by different mechanisms. The rate increase in the advection domain was controlled by the mass action effect as a faster flow supplied more reactants, and the rate increase in the macropore domain was more affected by the rate of mass exchange with the advection domain, which increased with increasing flow rate. The hematite reduction rate in the micropore domain was, however, not affected by the flow rate because molecular diffusion limits reductant supply to the micropore domain interior. Domain-based macroscopic models were evaluated to scale redox reaction rates from the pore to macroscopic scales. A single domain model, which ignores subgrid transport heterogeneity deviated significantly from the pore-scale results. Further analysis revealed that the rate expression for hematite reduction was not scalable from the pore to porous media using the single domain model. A three-domain model, which effectively considers subgrid reactive diffusion in the micropore and macropore domains, significantly improved model description. Overall this study revealed the importance of subgrid transport heterogeneity in the manifestation of redox reaction rates in porous media and in scaling reactions from the pore to porous media. The research also supported that the domain-based scaling approach can be used to directly scale redox reactions in porous media with subgrid transport heterogeneity.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
48205; KP1702030
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 163:140-155
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
pore scale, heterogeneity, scaling, hematite, redox transformation, micromodel; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory