Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin


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Graduate Seminar - Dr. Tohren Kibbey


Monday, February 05, 2018


03:00pm - 04:00pm


CPE 2.204


Speaker:  Dr. Tohren Kibbey, Professor in the School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science (CEES) at the University of Oklahoma

Title of Seminar: “Water Film Configuration and Flow at the Grain-Surface Scale in Porous Media”

Abstract: Water films exist on the surfaces of hydrophilic media during unsaturated and multiphase flow, and are ubiquitous in the environment.  For example, a single cubic meter of a fine sand near its residual saturation can contain as much as 30,000 square meters of air-water interface associated with thin water films on grain surfaces.  Because any mass transfer between fluid phases in porous media occurs at interfaces, an understanding of the behavior of water films is central to developing a quantitative understanding of the dynamics of transport and mass transfer during unsaturated and multiphase flow.  Until recently, water films have been largely considered to be present in the form of adsorbed water, with thicknesses on the scale of nanometers.  However, recent evidence suggests that water films may be held by capillary forces under many common conditions in natural media, with average thicknesses two or more orders of magnitude greater than those of adsorbed films.  The implication of this finding is that the mobility of solutes in water films may be much greater than previously thought.  This presentation explores the configurations and flow of water films in unsaturated media, and the accompanying implications for solute mobility.

Biography:   Dr. Tohren Kibbey is Lloyd G. and Joyce Austin Presidential Professor in the School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science (CEES) at the University of Oklahoma, where he has been a faculty member since 1999.  Dr. Kibbey’s work has spanned a wide range of topics related to surface and interfacial phenomena, including mixed surfactant adsorption and partitioning, the effect of surface active compounds on pharmaceutical transport, and surfactant-based aqueous oilseed extraction.  Much of Dr. Kibbey’s recent work has focused on topics related to unsaturated porous media, including studies related to wettability, dynamic capillary effects, dynamic transport of manufactured nanomaterials in unsaturated porous media, and flow and phase transformations in wetting films at the sub-pore scale.