Constructal design of vascular porous materials and electrokinetic mass transfer


Journal Article

According to constructal theory, the "generation of flow configuration" is a universal phenomenon in physics. This phenomenon is covered by the constructal law: "For a finite-size flow system to persist in time (to live) it must evolve such that it provides greater and greater access to the currents that flow through it." This paper shows how the constructal law can be used to (1) predict and explain features of "design" in nature, and (2) design effective strategies and configurations for engineering. Many natural flow designs rely on two flow mechanisms: channels with relatively low resistivity, interwoven with diffusion across the interstices. The "design" is the balance between the two mechanisms. The flow from line to line (or plane to plane) through a sufficiently fine porous medium encounters less resistance than the flow through parallel channels when it is configured as trees that alternate with upside down trees: from this follows the prediction that natural porous media (e.g., hill slope) should be multiscale (bidisperse) and non-uniformly distributed. A porous medium contaminated with ionic species is decontaminated the fastest when the ionic flow is configured as two flow mechanisms in balance: "channeling" driven by potential differences between optimally positioned electrodes, and diffusion driven by concentration differences across the interstices between the channels. © pringer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lorente, S; Bejan, A

Published Date

  • January 1, 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 77 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 305 - 322

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0169-3913

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s11242-008-9283-z

Citation Source

  • Scopus