Pore-scale modeling of saturated permeabilities in random sphere packings

Chongxun Pan, Markus Hilpert, Cass T. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We use two pore-scale approaches, lattice-Boltzmann (LB) and pore-network modeling, to simulate single-phase flow in simulated sphere packings that vary in porosity and sphere-size distribution. For both modeling approaches, we determine the size of the representative elementary volume with respect to the permeability. Permeabilities obtained by LB modeling agree well with Rumpf and Gupte’s experiments in sphere packings for small Reynolds numbers. The LB simulations agree well with the empirical Ergun equation for intermediate but not for small Reynolds numbers. We suggest a modified form of Ergun’s equation to describe both low and intermediate Reynolds number flows. The pore-network simulations agree well with predictions from the effective-medium approximation but underestimate the permeability due to the simplified representation of the porous media. Based on LB simulations in packings with log-normal sphere-size distributions, we suggest a permeability relation with respect to the porosity, as well as the mean and standard deviation of the sphere diameter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Pore-scale modeling of saturated permeabilities in random sphere packings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this