Pore size characterization of a porous media: a true need but do we know what we are measuring?

Prof. Roger Ben Aïm, Scientific Advisor IFTS, France

Characterizing the porous structure of a media by a “pore size” has always been a need for the industrials: the hydrogeologists for the qualification of the aquifers, the engineers of the oil industry for the reservoirs, the pharmacologists for the controlled release of drugs, the biologists for the biomembranes which characterize any living system (from cell membrane to the skin), the liquid and gas filtration industry experts (from sand filters to cartridge filters and membrane)… Over the years, pushed by those different industries, methods have been developed by researchers and scientists trying to characterize a pore size of a porous media for a given application. If the porosity is easy to define (sometimes more difficult to measure precisely though), the definition of a pore is not a given even if, nowadays, 3D imaging might allow to better understand the porous structure with all its complexity. Mathematically defining pore size is even more difficult! Experimental methods have been used for years aiming at measuring average pore size or pore size distribution most of these methods are indirect methods that require mathematical and physical models, but are they applicable under all circumstances. Standards do exist but are they always adapted to the application or the media? Gaps are sometimes to be filled out and laboratory researches are still ongoing to better approach the reality in the most simple and accurate manner.

Session: Plenary Session
Day: 13 March 2018
Time: 10:45 - 12:00 h

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