Large Scale Hydrodynamically Coupled Brownian Dynamics Simulations of Polymer Solutions Flowing through Porous Media

Vishal Raju Ahuja*, Jasper van der Gucht, Wim Briels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Large scale simulations of polymer flow through porous media provide an important tool for solving problems in enhanced oil recovery, polymer processing and biological applications. In order to include the effects of a wide range of velocity and density fluctuations, we base our work on a coarse-grain particle-based model consisting of polymers following Brownian dynamics coupled to a background fluid flow through momentum conserving interactions. The polymers are represented as Finitely Extensible Non-Linear Elastic (FENE) dumbbells with interactions including slowly decaying transient forces to properly describe dynamic effects of the eliminated degrees of freedom. Model porous media are constructed from arrays of parallel solid beams with circular or square cross-sections, arranged periodically in the plane perpendicular to their axis. No-slip boundary conditions at the solid–fluid interfaces are imposed through interactions with artificial particles embedded within the solid part of the system. We compare the results of our simulations with those of standard Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics simulations for Newtonian flow through the same porous media. We observe that in all cases the concentration of polymers at steady state is not uniform even though we start the simulations with a uniform polymer concentration, which is indicative of shear-induced cross-flow migration. Furthermore, we see the characteristic flattening of the velocity profile experimentally observed for shear-thinning polymer solutions flowing through channels as opposed to the parabolic Poiseuille flow profile for Newtonian fluids.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1422
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2022


  • coarse-graining
  • Hydrodynamically Coupled Brownian Dynamics
  • large scale simulations of polymer solutions
  • non-Newtonian flow through porous media
  • polymer flooding
  • shear-thinning polymers
  • viscoelasticity


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