31 May 2021 to 3 June 2021
Europe/Dublin timezone


(MS1) Porous Media for a Green World: Energy & Climate

Porous media science and engineering has played an important historical role in the development of the current global energy system through the production of oil, natural gas, and coal.  Unfortunately, combustion of the produced fuels has led to the current climate and carbon problem, prompting the urgent need to transition to a low carbon future.  While renewables such as wind and solar will play a major role in the energy transition, creative uses of natural and engineered porous media will also be a critical part of any viable low carbon energy system. Because fossil fuels will form a significant part of the foreseeable future energy mix, CO2 capture and subsequent subsurface storage must play a major role in both direct carbon-capture-and-storage (CCS) projects and in negative emissions scenarios like Bio-Energy with CCS, or BECCS.  In addition to large-scale carbon storage, more creative uses of porous media also need to be developed, including creative subsurface energy storage schemes to deal with intermittency of renewables, and novel capture technologies in engineered systems as well as naturally reactive rocks.  These capturing technologies also include reactive transport mechanisms for energy storage. In addition, geothermal energy production is expected to increase its contribution in the future energy mix. In all of these activities, safety and risk assessments are very important, so that societal concerns such as induced-seismicity and surface subsidence (and uplift) are managed properly.  In this session, we invite contributions on all aspects of utilization of porous media for energy and climate-driven activities. This can include improved methods for oil and gas production, all aspects of CCS systems including storage in reactive rock systems as well as negative emissions involving BECCS, and new methods for subsurface energy storage including those that complement traditional wind and solar. We especially invite collaborative efforts involving scientists, engineers and technology developers to contribute to our mini-symposium. 


(MS2) Porous Media for a Green World: Water & Agriculture

Sustainable use of soil and water resources is crucial to preserve healthy terrestrial ecosystems and maintaining food security. Many of the scientific and technical challenges related to these issues hinge on understanding, controlling and optimizing processes that involve the multiscale (in both space and time) dynamics of water and nutrients in the soil-plant system, arguably the porous medium ‘par excellence’. With this theme in mind, this mini-symposium aims to bring together contributions on the physics, chemistry and biology of porous media with emphasis on applications to the ecohydrology and biogeochemistry of agroecosystems. Fundamental research on these interdisciplinary topics will provide guidance and novel solutions to improve human actions on agroecosystems and reduce their potential negative impacts. The long-lasting environmental repercussion of water and soil management in agroecosystems and the elements of irreversibility on the microscale structure of soils in relation to soil degradation and salinization, groundwater dynamics, carbon and nutrient retention, which in turn affect plant status and productivity and ultimately ecosystems conditions and human welfare, are of particular interest. We welcome contributions toward optimal land-use management for sustainable use of terrestrial ecology and quantitative analysis of the effectiveness of applied human strategies on ecosystem management for food and water supply security.


(MS3) Flow, transport and mechanics in fractured porous media

In modeling of flow,  (multiphase) transport and mechanics in fractured porous media, challenges are related to the fractured structure’s impact on the processes and/or the processes’ impact on the fractured structure. Fractures may, for example, totally dominate flow-processes, and, vice versa, flow processes may alter the fractured structure of the medium, causing fractures to deform, slip and/or propagate. This mini-symposia invites presentations on advances within mathematical and numerical modeling and experimental work related to flow, transport, chemical and mechanical processes in fractured porous media.


(MS4) Swelling and shrinking porous media

Many porous media, from soils and clays to gels and tissues, will swell or shrink in response to thermal, mechanical, or chemical stimuli. The coupling between flow and deformation during swelling/shrinking can give rise to a variety of complex phenomena, including changes in mechanical or transport properties, changes in size or shape, and the formation of fracture or wrinkle patterns. The goal of this mini-symposium will be to highlight new experiments that provide direct visualization and characterization of these phenomena, as well as new theories that harness the output of these tools to better model flow and transport during swelling/shrinking. Particular emphasis will be given to studies that provide a direct comparison between theoretical predictions and experimental results.


(MS5) Biochemical processes and biofilms in porous media

Biochemical processes, including microbially driven mineral precipitation and biofilm accumulation and activity, can impact reactive mass transport and material properties of porous media. We invite contributors to present and discuss results from microbial, enzymatic and temperature driven experimental and simulation modeling studies, at various scales of observation, which highlight recent advances in this overall theme area. For example, microbially induced carbonate precipitation (MICP) is being applied for permeability modification, e.g. improving well-bore cement integrity and fracture sealing, in the deep subsurface along with improving soil strength and stiffness in the shallow subsurface. Improved understanding of basic biofilm process including cell attachment, growth, detachment and cell transport is needed for applications such as controlling soil clogging and improving bioremediation of organics, metals and radionuclides. Other relevant topics include engineered biogenic gas production and its effects on porous materials along with further understanding of the formation, retention, transport, and performance of biochemical reaction products and by-products in both shallow and deep subsurface applications. Case studies are encouraged along with studies which combine experimentation and simulation model development.


(MS6) Physics of multi-phase flow in diverse porous media

The investigation of multiphase flow in porous media is relevant to many different disciplines and types of porous media, ranging from subsurface application areas, encompassing soil physics, contaminant hydrology, and petroleum engineering, to material science applications, such as membranes and fuel cells. From a practical perspective, it is often desirable to establish relationships between microstructural and surface properties of the porous medium, fluid properties, and Darcy scale effective properties. However, much past research has focused on description of multiphase flow behavior at the Darcy scale, with purely phenomenological links to microscopic details and porous medium/fluid properties.  Thanks to progress in imaging and numerical modelling in the past decade, our understanding of the displacement physics at the pore and meso-scale has tremendously improved. The purpose of this mini-symposium is to explore recent insights into multiphase displacement physics through experiment, modelling, and theory, with applications to a range of disciplines and materials.  Examples of potential topics of interest include:

  • Characterization of flow regimes and associated characteristic length and time scales, ranging from pore to Darcy scale
  • Phenomenological and thermodynamic frameworks for upscaling from the pore to Darcy scales
  • Applications to flexible and/or soft materials
  • Applications to heterogeneous wettability conditions
  • Applications involving complex / non-Newtonian fluids
  • Dynamic capillarity effects
  • Interfacial phenomena in multiphase systems


(MS7) Mathematical and numerical methods for multi-scale multi-physics, nonlinear coupled processes

Various applications of societal and technological relevance involve flow, (multi-phase) transport, deformation or reaction in natural (e.g. geological) or synthetic porous media. These applications are broad: from energy and environment to biosystems and high-tech materials. In many of these situations, experiments (or field observations) are either extremely costly (or even impossible) or they are required to be complemented with models and simulations.  In this context, mathematical and numerical simulation methods are key tools for understanding processes as named above. When designing efficient simulation methods, at least two major challenges appear. The first is related to the fact that the mathematical models are coupled systems of highly nonlinear equations, and the second is due to the high complexity associated with porous media, e.g., highly heterogeneous properties with scale separation (often for fabricated porous materials) and without scale separation (often with natural real-world porous media). The dynamic coupling of processes taking place at different scales (from micro to macro) also motivates the needs to account for all such multiscale aspects in the development of accurate mathematical and numerical methods. In this mini-symposium, we invite contributions related to the development of “advanced mathematical models and related analyses” and “advanced numerical methods” including “advanced discretization methods” and “multiscale multilevel model order reduction techniques (multiscale methods, homogenization and upscaling, etc.) ”, “topological model reduction for embedded inclusions” (applied e.g. to fractures and wells), and “advanced nonlinear and linear solution strategies” for multi-scale, multi-component and multi-physics processes in porous media.


(MS8) Mixing, dispersion and reaction processes across scales in heterogeneous and fractured media

An in-depth understanding of solute mixing and reactive transport is key in engineered and natural porous media with applications ranging from the design of porous reactors to diffusion in human tissue to geothermal heat production and groundwater management. Spatial heterogeneity in pore and Darcy scale medium and flow properties leads to scale effects in system parameters (e.g., hydraulic conductivity, dispersion coefficients, chemical rate constants) and emerging large scale processes (e.g., anomalous diffusion, memory reactions, mechanical mixing) due to the interaction of small scale processes, segregation and mass transfer across heterogeneity-induced interfaces. Recent advances in experimental and theoretical approaches have shed new light into the pore and Darcy-scale mechanisms that govern these processes and their large scale quantification.  This session addresses a diverse group of researchers investigating Eulerian and Lagrangian flow properties, solute and particle transport, and mixing and reaction phenomena under spatial heterogeneity in fluids at rest and under single, multiphase and variable density flows on the pore and Darcy scales. It aims to bring together experimental observations from the lab to the field scale with theory and numerical simulations to advance our understanding of  heterogeneity-induced mixing, transport and chemical reaction dynamics over a large range of spatial and temporal scales.  


(MS9) Pore-scale modelling

We invite contributions on all aspects of pore-scale modelling with an emphasis on new numerical developments, validation against experiment, new physical insights, incorporation of advanced physical and chemical models, and upscaling to the continuum scale.  We will consider work on different methods, including – but not limited to – pore-network modelling and direct simulation methods, such as finite volume, finite element, phase field, level set and lattice Boltzmann approaches, as well as hybrid methods.


(MS10) Advances in imaging porous media: techniques, software and case studies

For many years, 3D imaging techniques have been applied for material characterization. The last decade, several advanced imaging techniques have been developing at a high speed both on the hardware and the software side. Because of this development and their added value, they are intensively used to study porous media for their characterization as well as to study the various processes occurring inside porous media. For this mini-symposium we invite contributions that focus on advancements in 3D imaging techniques or 3D analysis software to study porous media as well as contributions that integrate these new developments in experiments and real case-studies.


(MS11) Microfluidics in porous systems

Porous media research spans a very wide range of physical length scales: from micrometer up to the km scale. However to address the large scale applications mostly the Darcy scale theories are used which are heavily based on the (upscaled) constitutive relations. Validity of the continuum-scale theories (e.g. Darcy's law for two-phase flow) have been seriously challenged in the recent two decades through microscale experimental and computational research. Despite several studies have been done, the impact of small, pore scale, processes on the larger scale, where system is continuous (Darcy and field scale), is still challenging and current models must be improved. Microfluidics systems greatly improve our current understanding of small scale processes taking place within tiny fluid volumes, like drops (e.g. picoliter or nanoliter), moving within well-defined geometries with controlled properties (like size, wettability, shape). Recently, such technology has been also applied for the investigation of more complex media characterized by the presence of obstacles mimicking porous materials.  This mini-symposium aims to gather researchers with interest in the use of microfluidics devices for the investigation of pore-scale processes that take place at the scale of individual pores in permeable media in order to highlight our understanding of their impact on the larger size phenomena such as solutes mixing, reactive transport, electrokinetic effects and charged systems, colloids transport and filtration, microorganisms growth or mineral aggregates formation.


(MS12) Advances in modeling and simulation of poromechanics

In the past decade, the numerical simulation of coupled mechanical deformation and fluid flow in porous media, shortly poromechanics, has become of increasing importance in several branches of technology and natural sciences. Among typical societal relevant applications of poromechanics we mention geothermal energy extraction, CO2 storage, hydraulic fracturing or cancer research. In this mini-symposium we will address recent developments in numerical solvers for poromechanics, e.g. iterative and monolithic schemes, multigrid, efficient preconditioners and (stable / multiscale / mass conservative) discretization methods. In the same time new trends in the mathematical modeling of poromechanics will be discussed. Especially, non-linear or non-stationary extensions of Biot equations, multiphase and/or reactive flow in deformable porous media, thermo-poroelasticity and the inclusion of fractures will be of interest.


(MS13) Fluids in Nanoporous Media

Many porous media have characteristic pore sizes in the nanometer range. These media include natural materials (clays, coal, and shale), concrete, as well as synthetic materials used for separation, purification, and energy storage. In most natural or technological processes the pores in these materials contain fluids: water in clays and concrete, hydrocarbons in coal and shale, etc. In nanopore-confined fluid, tight spatial confinement and solid-fluid interactions may significantly alter the fluid's physical properties, causing, for example, the molecular structuring of the fluid, shifts of the freezing or evaporation points and the appearance of the disjoining pressure. These pore-scale effects necessarily lead to a change in the parameters of continuum models for fluid transport in nanoporous media and poromechanics; moreover, they often require introducing new physics in the governing equations. The objective of this minisymposium is to provide a forum for the discussion of all possible aspects of fluid phases confined in nanoporous materials: fundamental and applied, theoretical and experimental.


(MS14) Uncertainty Quantification in Porous Media

The goal of this mini-symposium is to provide a forum for discussion of common themes that arise in the application of stochastic (e.g., Markov chain Monte Carlo (McMC)) and deterministic (e.g. Adjoint formulation) uncertainty quantification (UQ) methods for porous media. We welcome UQ methods for all porous media applications, including flow in porous media and geophysics. We aim for a multi-disciplinary mini-symposium which forms a basis for cross-discipline discussions of new findings, challenges, and methods forward.


(MS15) Machine Learning and Big Data in Porous Media

Recent advances in computer and data sciences have made machine learning (ML) techniques a frontier in porous media-related research. As a result, classical challenges in porous media are being addressed with new techniques based on ML. The aim of this mini-symposium is to present those most recent results and introduce new directions in porous media-related research to researchers in our community. This session seeks abstracts in the following topics: 1) recent advances in ML algorithms (including deep learning) with applications to porous media 2) development of computationally fast proxy models, reduced order models or predictive empirical models using ML to address issues of interest in porous media; 3) other ML-related applications or developments in porous media.


(MS16) Fluid Interactions with Thin Porous Media

Thin porous media are extensively used in paper industry, fuel cell development, printing technologies, packaging, etc. Their diversity, considering structure, composition, physico-chemical properties, as well as their interactions with fluids are of current interest for both the fundamental understanding and the industrial applications. Processes as liquid imbibition, drying, nanoparticles carried by liquids into thin porous media structures, clogging are driving processes in oil recovery, water purification, high efficiency fuel cell, personal care products, organic membranes as well as in paper manufacturing, printing technologies. In this mini-symposium we call for papers that focus on fluid transport through thin porous media considering evaporation, spreading, absorption, diffusion, capillary suction, clogging processes, while the media may deform due to swelling processes. The topics of this mini-symposium include different aspects of Thin Porous Media including: thin fibrous and granular porous media, liquid spreading, absorption /diffusion, mechanisms of liquid imbibition/drying, surface modification of fibers and implications on liquid transport, hydro-expansion and dimensional stability in presence of moisture, and from process modeling to the real industrial applications.


(MS17) Thermal Processes, Thermal Coupling and Thermal Properties of Porous Media: modeling and experiments at different scales

Thermal processes (including fluid-solid-thermal coupled ones) in porous media play an important role in numerous applications, including unconventional energy resources, environments, industrial materials such as isolators, aerospace and medical engineering. At the same time, it is of great importance to obtain thermal properties of porous media (e.g. conductivity) and the fluids at different scales, including micro and macro scales. The scope of this mini-symposia covers all studies which deal primarily on thermal aspects of porous media, thermal coupling, and property measurements in a multidisciplinary nature of analyses, modeling, experiment and field studies. We also include challenging fields such as geo-energy and geo-environment systems as well as insulation materials under extreme conditions.


(MS18) Innovative Methods for Characterization, Monitoring, and In-Situ Remediation of Contaminated Soils and Aquifers

The efficacy of methods used for the characterization, monitoring, and remediation of contaminated soils and aquifers is unavoidably associated with the multi-scale properties of unsaturated and saturated zones. The development of innovative, and cost-effective methods for (i) mapping and monitoring polluted soils and surface emissions from spread pollutants, and (ii) in situ soil and aquifer remediation rely on information resulting from lab-, pilot-, and field-scale tests along with process modeling and simulation in porous media. Toward this direction, earlier and new knowledge concerning the multiphase and multi-component transport and reactive processes in multi-scale porous media must be handled in the light of interdisciplinary approaches (e.g. geology, chemistry, chemical engineering, physics, etc.) for understanding, analyzing, and modeling the complex processes involved. For this mini-symposium, we invite experimental and theoretical contributions that focus on the development, application, and interpretation of innovative techniques for the characterization / monitoring / in situ remediation (e.g. biological treatment, thermal treatment, advanced oxidation, electro-remediation, nanoremediation, hybrid technologies, etc.) of soils and aquifers at a broad hierarchy of scales ranging from the pore- to the field-scale.


(MS19) Electrochemical processes in porous media

The flow of electrolyte through porous media and the chemical reactions of the moving fluid with the solid matrix, are encountered in different applications not only in nature but also by using porous materials in order to catalyze chemical reaction between fluids. The performance and durability of electrochemical devices, such as fuel cells, batteries, electrolyzes, electro-osmotic analyzers and electro-osmotic filters, is largely dependent on mass, charge and heat transport though porous media. The diffusion of reactants in gas diffusion layers and catalyst layers, transport of ions in electrolytes, species transport in osmotic membranes, and multiphase flow through thin porous layers are among the topics that still require further research. Moreover, as the technology improves, new and more sophisticated porous materials are being used. These materials require re-examination of the concepts employed to study transport in traditional non-chemically participating porous media. In this mini-symposium, attention will be devoted to the new developments in characterization methods and modeling techniques addressing the challenges found in porous media used in electrochemical applications. They include fundamental research of the transport resistance on the microscopic scale as well as the study of effective transport properties on the macroscopic scale. Therefore, the aim of this mini-symposium is to provide a venue for scientists and engineers to discuss the recent advances in characterization and modeling of porous media in electrochemical science and technology. The list of topics includes, but is not limited to, theoretical and computational modeling, and in-situ and ex-situ experiments.


(MS20) Biophysics of living porous media: theory, experiment, modeling and characterization

This minisymposium will focus on modeling and characterization of living porous systems (plants, tissues, cell agglomerates, organs, etc.) and related applications in engineering sciences, biology and medicine. Within this context, theoretical and experimental approaches based on porous media mechanics are playing a pivotal role on understanding the behavior of such reactive multiphase systems. Mechanistic modeling allows decrypting coupling between involved physical phenomena and the role of biological and chemical factors, central in living systems. This is a wide research field because structure, function and evolution of living porous medium systems are studied at a broad spectrum of scales: from cells to tissues and from organs to the entire living system and its interaction with the environment.  Discussed topics include (but not limited to): tissue and organ poromechanics, tissue remodeling, mass transport and multiphase flow in living systems, multiphase modeling of biological tissues, tumor growth modeling, transport oncophysics, drugs delivery. We welcome contributions from all applications of living porous media.


(MS21) Non-linear effects in flow and transport through porous media

Non-linear effects impacting fluid flow and chemical transport in porous media play a key role for processes occurring in several disciplines and in a variety of applications. On the one hand, examples of situations where the role of inertial terms in the Navier-Stokes equations is important include flows in highly permeable porous media such as river sediments, canopies, urban canyons or near well injections, catalytic beds, nuclear reactors. On the other hand, non-Newtonian rheologies involve non-linear or history-dependent relationships between stress and shear rate and are relevant for applications such as the use of polymer slugs for remediation of NAPL-polluted aquifers, enhanced oil recovery (EOR), or in the general context of subsurface characterization. Non-Newtonian fluid flows also occur in the context of the remediation of vadose zone environments; clay-based drilling muds (with direct implication on fracture characterization while drilling); and suspensions of solid particles for soil remediation or fracking. They are also important in many industrial applications such as polymer matrix composites.

The non-linear effects associated with such flow and transport conditions, combined with the complexity of the multi-scale heterogeneous structure for instance in the case of the subsurface, introduce remarkable challenges to modeling macro-scale system behavior. Otherwise, a detailed depiction of pore-scale flows and the investigation of the relationship between the theoretical descriptions at various scales of the problem can benefit from detailed microscale simulations (molecular or quasi-molecular, meso-scale approaches, effective boundary conditions such as slip conditions for polymer flows, continuum approaches) performed in realistic pore spaces. Advances in the field further require the development of experiments at the corresponding scales (pore, Darcy, field), along with novel visualization and imaging techniques (e.g. PIV, PTV, laser fluorescence imaging, photon microscopy, X-ray tomography). In terms of transport, it is documented that mixing processes in non-linear flows take place at the small scales, which makes the quantification of the related physical and chemical processes significantly challenging. In this context, the upscaling of pore/fracture scale results in terms of macro-scale models and effective properties challenges all upscaling techniques and homogenization paradigms, which must be adapted and improved.

In this mini-symposium we seek to address the way non-linear effects impact flow and transport patterns in porous media or fractured porous media, and the way current knowledge can be transferred onto applications. We welcome contributions addressing the impact of non-linearities in the flow equations on single- or multiphase flows and transport processes in porous media, based on theoretical/numerical studies, laboratory experiments, or macro-scale/field investigations, over a broad range of scales and applications. Discussions on modern modeling and investigation strategies are also encouraged.


(MS22) Manufactured Porous Materials for Industrial Applications

Porous materials are key components of many industrial applications such as fuel cells, electrolysers, electrodes in electrochemical batteries, membrane and separation technology, paper and filters. Depending on the application, the porous materials are designed, fabricated or modified to deliver specific objectives. Porous media science applicable to physical and chemical processes in geosystems can be shared with other engineering applications.

There have been progressive technologies to improve the design, characterisation and manufacturing the synthetic porous materials.

This minimymosium aims to provide the platform for researchers to exchange knowledge about their challenges, achievements and research questions related to design, characterisation and fabrication of porous materials for the above-mentioned disciplines.
Showcases of success or challenges are encouraged to be presented to demonstrate the capabilities or gaps in fundamental porous media knowledge.


(MS23) Multiscale phase field and data-driven modeling of phase transition processes in porous media

Many mechanisms in multiphase porous materials under thermo-hydro-mechanical conditions can be classified as phase-change processes. The phase-field modeling approach can be used to model such coupled problems and has a range of attractive features as well as limitations in comparison to other schemes in porous media mechanics, both on the macro- and microscales. For this session, we particularly invite contributions on the following topics:

  • Freezing and thawing in saturated and unsaturated porous media: This includes experimental and numerical studies of soil and rock freezing, cyclic freezing/thawing, advanced constitutive models for frost damage, plasticity and creep, ice lens modeling, numerical algorithms and implementations, and stochastic methods in soil freezing. Solid-liquid phase-change processes in other materials, e.g. PCMs for heat storage, are likewise welcome.
  • Phase-field porous media fracture as a phase transition process: Crack propagation in porous media is widely treated within the phase-field method as a phase-change process between intact and fractured states of the material. A special focus is on the phase-field modeling of injection-induced and drying-induced fractures of porous media and the related thermo-hydro-mechanical changes. Both experimental and numerical studies on these topics are welcome.
  • Artificial intelligence approaches in phase transition processes: Multi-scale treatment of phase-change phenomena in porous media is not only complex but also computationally demanding. Techniques such as physics-guided neural networks, convolutional neural networks for predictions, AI image processing of microCT and SEM images, microstructure realization, reduced-order modeling, and others applied to the above applications are particularly welcome.
  • Additional topics: Related topics such as solid-phase transitions, microstructure evolution, and others will also be considered.