Pore-scale finite-volume continuum models of electrokinetic processes are used to predict the Debye lengths, velocity, and potential profiles for two-dimensional arrays of circles, ellipses and squares with different orientations. The pore-scale continuum model solves the coupled Navier–Stokes, Poisson, and Nernst–Planck equations to characterize the electro-osmotic pressure and streaming potentials developed on the application of an external voltage and pressure difference, respectively. This model is used to predict the macroscale permeabilities of geomaterials via the widely used Carmen–Kozeny equation and through the electrokinetic coupling coefficients. The permeability results for a two-dimensional X-ray tomography-derived sand microstructure are within the same order of magnitude as the experimentally calculated values. The effect of the particle aspect ratio and orientation on the electrokinetic coupling coefficients and subsequently the electrical and hydraulic tortuosity of the porous media has been determined. These calculations suggest a highly tortuous geomaterial can be efficient for applications like decontamination and desalination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-666
Number of pages16
JournalTransport in Porous Media
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Electro-osmosis
  • Electrokinetics
  • Geomaterials
  • Permeability
  • Streaming potentials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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