GeoChemFoam: Direct Modelling of Multiphase Reactive Transport in Real Pore Geometries with Equilibrium Reactions

Julien Maes*, Hannah P. Menke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
74 Downloads (Pure)


GeoChemFoam is an open-source OpenFOAM-based toolbox that includes a range of additional packages that solve various flow processes from multiphase transport with interface transfer, to single-phase flow in multiscale porous media, to reactive transport with mineral dissolution. In this paper, we present a novel multiphase reactive transport solver for simulations on complex pore geometries, including microfluidic devices and micro-CT images, and its implementation in GeoChemFoam. The geochemical model includes bulk and surface equilibrium reactions. Multiphase flow is solved using the Volume-Of-Fluid method, and the transport of species is solved using the continuous species transfer method. The reactive transport equations are solved using a sequential operator splitting method, with the transport step solved using GeoChemFoam, and the reaction step solved using Phreeqc, the US geological survey’s geochemical software. The model and its implementation are validated by comparison with analytical solutions in 1D and 2D geometries. We then simulate multiphase reactive transport in two test pore geometries: a 3D pore cavity and a 3D micro-CT image of Bentheimer sandstone. In each case, we show the pore-scale simulation results can be used to develop upscaled models that are significantly more accurate than standard macro-scale equilibrium models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-299
Number of pages29
JournalTransport in Porous Media
Issue number2
Early online date11 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Micro-CT image
  • Multiphase flow
  • Pore-scale modelling
  • Reactive transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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