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Title: An experimental study of the effect of motile bacteria on the fluid displacement in porous media
Multiphase flow patterns in porous media largely depend on the properties of the fluids and interfaces such as viscosity, surface tension, and contact angle. Microorganisms in soils change the fluid and interfacial properties, and thus can alter multiphase fluid flow in porous media. This study investigates the impact of motile bacterium Escherichia coli ( E. coli ) on fluid displacement patterns in a microfluidic chip. The fluid displacement is observed during the saturation and the desaturation processes of the microfluidic chip with and without E.coli suspension. Time-lapse photography results show that the presence of E.coli alters the displacement patterns during the wetting and drying process and changes the residual saturation of the chip. Although studies of the impacts of motility on interfacial properties remain elusive, these results bring the expectation to the manipulation of multiphase transport in porous media and the adaptive control of industrial and environmental flow processes using active particles.
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McCartney, J.S.; Tomac, I.
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E3S Web of Conferences
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National Science Foundation
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