Capillarity-induced resonance of blobs in porous media: Analytical solutions, Lattice-Boltzmann modeling, and blob mobilization

Markus Hilpert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Theoretical considerations and experiments in capillary tubes suggest that blobs exhibit resonance in porous media when they are trapped because of interfacial tension. Here, we investigate the hypothesis that such blobs can be mobilized by exploiting a phenomenon entitled capillarity-induced resonance, that is, by exciting the blobs at their resonant frequency. We used Lattice-Boltzmann (LB) modeling to perform numerical experiments, and we validated the LB model using analytical solutions that approximate the linear response of blobs with pinned menisci in straight and polygonal pore channels to an oscillatory body force. The LB simulations agree well with the quasistatic response, which the analytical solutions describe correctly. Furthermore, the frequency response, particularly the resonant frequency, agrees well, even though the analytical solutions do not accurately estimate viscous pressure drops. Numerical experiments in polygonal and sinusoidal pore channels, as well as disc packings, show that blobs, which are trapped even though a constant body force is applied, can indeed be mobilized by exploiting capillarity-induced resonance. Moreover, the resonant frequency can be estimated in numerical experiments by determining the dominant frequency in the blob amplitude in response to a force pulse. This is of great practical relevance for complex geometries, for which the resonant frequency cannot be easily predicted theoretically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-504
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 15 2007


  • Elastic waves
  • Mobilization
  • Porous media
  • Residual nonwetting phase
  • Two-phase flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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