In this project, we will combine modelling and experimental approaches to extend our understanding of the processes controlling solute transport and precipitation in drying porous media. This is an important topic for durability of building materials, mineral-fluid interaction and CO2 sequestration. Moreover, it is highly relevant to soil salinization, which is a global problem. The necessity to study salt-affected soil is increased by the projected change in climate. It is therefore highly desirable to explore methods to characterize the mechanisms affecting salt transport and precipitation in porous media. When salt concentration substantially exceeds the solubility limit (because of the evaporation), salt precipitates in porous media. Our recent findings confirm that the precipitated salt at the surface is porous allowing liquid flow within the porous structure of salt, which keeps the salt wet and contributes to further water evaporation. How the presence of the precipitated salt influences the subsequent evaporation dynamics is rarely discussed in literature and poorly understood. Without this knowledge, description of saline water evaporation from porous media is not complete because ignoring the contribution of precipitated salt in total water evaporation may result in underestimation of evaporative water losses. One of the key objectives of this project is about quantifying effects of the precipitated salt on water evaporation from porous media and its consequences on environmental flow problems (such as soil salinization and durability of building materials) using multi-scale modelling and experiments. For further details and information, please contact Dr Nima Shokri, e-mail [email protected].
A degree in one of the following is preferred: environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, environmental science or petroleum engineering