An incompressible, depth-averaged lattice Boltzmann method for liquid flow in microfluidic devices with variable aperture

Artin Laleian, Albert J. Valocchi, Charles J. Werth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Two-dimensional (2D) pore-scale models have successfully simulated microfluidic experiments of aqueous-phase flow with mixing-controlled reactions in devices with small aperture. A standard 2D model is not generally appropriate when the presence of mineral precipitate or biomass creates complex and irregular three-dimensional (3D) pore geometries. We modify the 2D lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) to incorporate viscous drag from the top and bottom microfluidic device (micromodel) surfaces, typically excluded in a 2D model. Viscous drag from these surfaces can be approximated by uniformly scaling a steady-state 2D velocity field at low Reynolds number. We demonstrate increased accuracy by approximating the viscous drag with an analytically-derived body force which assumes a local parabolic velocity profile across the micromodel depth. Accuracy of the generated 2D velocity field and simulation permeability have not been evaluated in geometries with variable aperture. We obtain permeabilities within approximately 10% error and accurate streamlines from the proposed 2D method relative to results obtained from 3D simulations. In addition, the proposed method requires a CPU run time approximately 40 times less than a standard 3D method, representing a significant computational benefit for permeability calculations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)600-615
Number of pages16
JournalComputation
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Lattice Boltzmann
  • Microfluidics
  • Permeability
  • Porous media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Applied Mathematics

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