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Title: Internal Domains of Natural Porous Media Revealed: Critical Locations for Transport, Storage, and Chemical Reaction

Internal pore domains exist within rocks, lithic fragments, subsurface sediments, and soil aggregates. These domains, termed internal domains in porous media (IDPM), represent a subset of a material’s porosity, contain a significant fraction of their porosity as nanopores, dominate the reactive surface area of diverse media types, and are important locations for chemical reactivity and fluid storage. IDPM are key features controlling hydrocarbon release from shales in hydraulic fracture systems, organic matter decomposition in soil, weathering and soil formation, and contaminant behavior in the vadose zone and groundwater. It is traditionally difficult to interrogate, advances in instrumentation and imaging methods are providing new insights on the physical structures and chemical attributes of IDPM, and their contributions to system behaviors. We discuss analytical methods to characterize IDPM, evaluate information on their size distributions, connectivity, and extended structures; determine whether they exhibit unique chemical reactivity; and assess the potential for their inclusion in reactive transport models. Moreover, ongoing developments in measurement technologies and sensitivity, and computer-assisted interpretation will improve understanding of these critical features in the future. Finally, impactful research opportunities exist to advance understanding of IDPM, and to incorporate their effects in reactive transport models for improved environmental simulation and prediction.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [6]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  2. Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States)
  3. Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)
  4. Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)
  5. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
  6. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environmental Science and Technology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 50; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-936X
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
58 GEOSCIENCES; pore systems; characterization; gas shale
OSTI Identifier: