Investigation of Evaporation and Diffusion Phenomena in Porous Media
Many industrial and biological phenomena involve the evaporation of liquids in porous media. In drying processes the evaporation of a liquid meniscus from the solid is the key mechanism in the process and its efficiency. After a first steady stage of evaporation the meniscus becomes unsteady and recedes inside the pore. Diffusion of vapour becomes the controlling mechanism for evaporation in a later stage. In this work an experimental investigation is undertaken to study the various stages of evaporation of different liquids in capillary tubes (pores) of various sizes. The analysis of the data obtained from this investigation reveals some interesting behaviours and emphasizes the role played by vapour diffusion in the case of unsteady interface. The preliminary transient regime allowing the thermal field establishment, is followed by the first stage of evaporation is found to be dominated by thermocapillary effects associated with non-uniform evaporation and temperature gradients. The laste stage is a molecular diffusion-limited mode. The liquid volatility and the effect of the size of the tube (ranging from 200 to 900 μm) are also analysed to show the interaction between the various effects at different scales.
Prof. Andreas Öchsner and José Grácio
R. Bennacer and K. Sefiane, "Investigation of Evaporation and Diffusion Phenomena in Porous Media", Materials Science Forum, Vol. 553, pp. 215-222, 2007