Hugo SANQUER PhD defense

Impact of pore-scale chaotic mixing on reactive transport in porous media
Hugo SANQUER PhD defense

University of Rennes – Beaulieu Campus
Amphi L, Building 42 (ESIR)

Wednesday December 20, 2023 – 14:00

Chemistry and Process Engineering team



Reactive transport in porous media play a central role in a range of water resources, energy and environmental processes.
A significant challenge in modeling these dynamics lies in the persistence of microscale concentration gradients, pinpointed as the primary factor leading to the failure of existing continuum models.
Although recent advances have shown that the pore scale mixing is chaotic, it is yet not known how it impacts homogeneous (fluid-fluid) and heterogeneous (fluid-solid) reactions. In this thesis, we develop new 3D imaging techniques for quantifying pore scale mixing dynamics and their impact on reactive processes. First, we introduce our experimental methods, which incorporate optical index matching in conjunction with laser-induced fluorescence imaging.
Next, we employ a bimolecular reaction that generates a fluorescent solute to showcase how reactive mixing is controlled by pore-scale chaotic flows within 3D porous media.
We then expand our parameter investigation through numerical simulations of reactive mixing within chaotic flows.
Finally, we discuss different methods that could be used to investigate the effect of chaotic mixing on heterogeneous reactions.
These findings open new perspective to characterize, model and predict the effect of incomplete mixing at the pore scale on reactive transport processes.

Keywords: Reactive transport, Chaotic mixing, 3D imaging, Porous media.



  • Massimo ROLLE,  Professeur, Institute of Applied Geosciences, Darmstadt, Allemagne / Rapporteur
  • Yohan DAVIT, Chargé de recherche, Institut de Mécanique des Fluides de Toulouse, France / Rapporteur
  • Marie-Caroline JULLIEN, Directrice de recherche, Institut de Physique de Rennes, France / Examinatrice
  • Joaquin JIMENEZ-MARTINEZ, Chercheur, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Dübendorf, Suisse / Examinateur
  • Tomas AQUINO, Chercheur, Institute for Environmental Assessment and Water Research, Barcelone, Espagne / Examinateur
  • Tanguy LE BORGNE, Physicien CNAP, Géoscience Rennes, France / Encadrant de thèse
  • Khalil HANNA, Professeur, Ecole Nationale Supérieur de Chimie, Rennes, France / Encadrant de thèse
  • Joris HEYMAN, Chargé de Recherche, Géosciences Rennes, France / Encadrant de thèse