What is it about?

Fick’s law is the most common approach to model molecular diffusion, but it has certain shortcomings when it comes to multicomponent mass transfer. Here, we have used the results from tertiary gas injection experiments in visualized glass micromodels to compare the performance of Fick’s law against the Maxwell-Stefan theory.

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Why is it important?

Our modeling results show that Fick’s law and the Maxwell-Stefan theory are both fairly capable of modeling gas diffusion into oil through a water film for pure systems. As for multicomponent mixtures, however, only the Maxwell–Stefan theory is able to capture the molecular diffusion process correctly, while the use of Fick's law would lead to erroneous results.


We believe this article can highlight the importance of choosing the right approach toward modeling molecular diffusion based on the physics of the problem.

Seyedamir Mirazimi
Equinor ASA

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This page is a summary of: Application of the Maxwell–Stefan theory in modeling gas diffusion experiments into isolated oil droplets by water, Physics of Fluids, November 2022, American Institute of Physics, DOI: 10.1063/5.0119766.
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