- Dispersive mass transfer
Dispersive mass flux is analogous to diffusion, and it can also be described using Fick's first law:
where c is mass concentration of the species being dispersed, E is the dispersion coefficient, and x is the position in the direction of the concentration gradient. Dispersion can be differentiated from diffusion in that it is caused by non-ideal flow patterns (i.e. deviations from plug flow) and is a macroscopic phenomenon, whereas diffusion is caused by random molecular motions (i.e. Brownian motion) and is a microscopic phenomenon. Dispersion is often more significant than diffusion in convection-diffusion problems. The dispersion coefficient is frequently modeled as the product of the fluid velocity, U, and some characteristic length scale, α:
- E = αU.
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