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10.1016_j.powtec.2023.118736.pdf (11.33 MB)

Clogging and permeability reduction dynamics in porous media: A numerical simulation study

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submitted on 2024-01-31, 05:00 and posted on 2024-01-31, 05:00 authored by Ahmed Elrahmani, Riyadh I. Al-Raoush, Thomas D. Seers

The dynamics of fine particle entrainment, transport, and deposition within pore systems, and in particular, the capacity for mobile fines to impair permeability within porous media is critical in many industrial applications. Considerable effort has been expended over the past several decades to identify and parametrize the governing factors that control permeability reduction, with studies employing a combination of physical experimentation and numerical simulation toward this aim. The objective of this work was to numerically investigate the impact of pore space geometry and fine sizes on the clogging dynamics of porous media. The clogging dynamics were characterized by the length of clogging zone (LCZ), the critical throat size of clogging (CTZC), the clogged fraction of throats (CFT), and the permeability reduction (PR). We implemented a computational fluid dynamics-discrete element method (CFD-DEM) numerical framework with a four-way coupling scheme to obtain insights into throat clogging and permeability reduction within heterogeneous porous media utilizing four different monodisperse suspensions. Geometries of porous media were extracted from 3D images of sand packs obtained using micro-computed tomography. The geometries had porosity values ranging from 0.35 to 0.57 and initial permeabilities between 1.35 and 26.32 μm2. CFD-DEM simulations were performed on each geometry four times, varying the injected fine particle size from 5 to 15 μm diameters. Findings indicate that pore systems with tortuosity <1.28 and angles of solid grains orientation larger than 46o tend to have shorter length clogging zones and greater permeability reduction. Furthermore, although systems with porosities higher than 0.48 tend to have a relatively high clogged fraction of throats, they undergo lower permeability reduction. It was also observed that within the studied pore systems, injection of fine particles larger than 7 μm into systems with aspect ratios higher than 2.5, results in a lower fraction of clogged throats. Additionally, for the studied pore networks,< 7 μm fine particles injected into porous media with a large pore body (> 66 μm) and throat (> 22 μm) radii tended to result in larger clogging zones and a greater critical throat size of clogging.

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Published in: Powder Technology
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2023

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This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar University
  • College of Engineering - QU
  • Texas A&M University at Qatar

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