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Phase & Interface Behavior

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PHASE & INTERFACE BEHAVIOR

Fluid-fluid interfaces in disordered porous materials form complex three-dimensional surfaces. Their locations and shapes affect processes ranging from the performance of fuel-cell membranes to enhanced oil production to the addition of coatings to manufactured materials.

Predicting interfacial structure within an interconnected pore space is difficult because interface behavior depends on a complicated set of variables: local pore structure, surface chemistry, and the history of the phase distributions, to name a few. While current science is a long way from developing truly predictive tools, significant advances are being made in two key areas. One is the modeling of interface location and stability in realistic three-dimensional structures. The second is high-resolution imaging of phase behavior in real materials. These modern tools are helping us add to the theoretical foundation that has resulted from a long history of interface research in the porous media community.

 

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Cain Department of Chemical Engineering
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803