Yield stress dependency on the evolution of bubble populations generated in consolidated soft sediments

Johnson, Michael, Fairweather, Michael, Harbottle, David, Hunter, Timothy N., Peakall, Jeffrey, and Biggs, Simon (2017) Yield stress dependency on the evolution of bubble populations generated in consolidated soft sediments. AIChE Journal, 63 (9). pp. 3728-3742.

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Retention of hydrogen bubbles within consolidated soft sediments represents an important safety consideration for the management of legacy nuclear wastes due to the potential for acute gas release. Gas retention sufficiently reduced the bulk density of intermediate yield stress (<800 Pa) sediments for the bed to become buoyant with respect to an aqueous supernatant, potentially inducing Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities. X-ray computed tomography revealed that beds of 7–234 Pa yield stress retained very similar, steady state size distributions of mature bubbles, limited to 9 mm equivalent spherical diameter, for long residence times. This implied a dominant gas release mechanism dictated by the pore to millimeter scale bubble population, not previously identified in such weak sediments and unrelated to the bubbles' buoyant force. At 1112 Pa yield stress, large bubbles of up to 20 mm diameter were observed to grow through induction of lateral cracks, facilitating gas transport to the bed periphery, thereby limiting the maximum void fraction, while non-homogeneous gas generation promoted the formation of low density regions rich with microbubbles which similarly provide pathways for gas release.

Item ID: 73347
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1547-5905
Keywords: gas retention, nuclear waste, x-ray tomography, yield stress
Copyright Information: © 2017 The Authors AIChE Journal published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2022 05:14
FoR Codes: 34 CHEMICAL SCIENCES > 3406 Physical chemistry > 340603 Colloid and surface chemistry @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280110 Expanding knowledge in engineering @ 100%
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