Flow Through Porous Media: Comparison of Consolidated and Unconsolidated Materials

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This paper treats the flow of gas through porous media. The focus is on the drag forces exerted by the media and their dependence on the pore structure. Pressure drop/flow rate experiments were conducted on sintered stainless steel compacts having void fractions between 0.18 and 0.67 and surface areas per unit volume of 2 X 104 to 1.4 X 105 m-1. Although the flow model was fit to sintered stainless steel data, the correlating equation predicts results for both consolidated and unconsolidated media within 40%. Key features of the resulting correlation include (1) a roughness term to account for flow in both smooth and rough media and (2) an empirically determined porosity dependence of ε4.1 instead of ε3 as given by the Ergun equation. Finally, a semitheoretical method of predicting the onset of choked flow is developed in the paper and used to explain some of the results in which choking was observed. © 1985, American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.

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Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Fundamentals