Methane Flow through Organic-Rich Nanopores: The Key Role of Atomic- Scale Roughness

MF Castez and EA Winograd and VM Sanchez, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, 121, 28527-28536 (2017).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b09811

We perform a detailed study of methane flow through nanoporous kerogen. Using molecular dynamics and modeling the kerogen pore with an amorphous carbon nanotube (a-CNT), we show that the reported flow enhancement over Hagen Poisseuile flow is mainly due to the smoothness, on an atomic scale, of the CNT. It acts in two ways: first, it helps the mobility of the adsorbed layer; second, and even more important for the flow enhancement, it prevents the dependency on the inverse of the channel length (L) from developing. While the former can incrementally contribute to the flow, the latter effect can explain the orders of magnitude found in comparison to macroscopic results.

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