Evaporation From Confined Porous Media Due to Controlled IR Heating From Above
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We report an experimental study of evaporation due to controlled infrared (IR) heating from above from an initially saturated confined porous medium consisting of nearly ‘mono-disperse’ particles which has been rarely used earlier. We have used three diagnostic tools simultaneously, evaporation rate measurements using a precision weighing balance, surface temperature measurements using IR imaging, and fluorescein dye mixed with water to visualize the drying front and the evaporation sites. IR images show that the first stage, so-called constant rate period (CRP), was maintained due to films of water reaching the top surface from the saturated region below. Gradually reducing evaporation rate in stage 1 is shown to be related to ‘shrinking evaporating patches’ on the top surface, clearly revealed as lower-temperature regions in the IR images. End of CRP coincides with disappearance of the low-temperature patches. We give end of CRP in terms of the average depth (Lcap) of the liquid level from the top surface at that time. Lcap and duration of CRP are strong functions of the porous medium bead size, transition to stage 2 happening earlier for coarser spheres. The obtained Lcap values deviated from the predictions of Lehmann et al. (Phys Rev E 77(5):056309, 2008) which we show is due to a small range of pore sizes in the current experiments. For both water and highly volatile n-pentane, we show that Lcap normalized by a length scale derived from gravity-surface tension force balance goes like Bo0.20, for Bo varying from 2.0E − 04 to 1.0E − 01; Bo is the Bond number. Fluorescein dye imaging shows a different view of the evaporation stages. During CRP, highly concentrated deposits of the fluorescein dye particles, orange in colour, are seen in the top few bead layers. These orange deposits represent the sites on the beads surfaces where the evaporation has taken place. Even with external heating, evaporation from such a porous medium is limited to a finite depth from the evaporating end, similar to the observation by Lehmann et al. (2008) for isothermal evaporation in Hele-Shaw cell.
KeywordsEvaporation Porous media Thermal imaging Fluorescein dye deposits
We thank Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber Physical Systems (RBCCPS/ME/JHA/PC 0013), Indian Institute of Science, for funding the work. We appreciate help of Prof. M. S. Bobji (Department of Mechanical Engineering, IISc Bangalore) and Prof. K. R. Sreenivas (JNCASR, Bangalore) during the analysis.
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