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A Mathematical Model of Gas and Water Flow in a Swelling Geomaterial—Part 1. Verification with Analytical Solution

1
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), Ottawa, ON K1P 5S9, Canada
2
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2020, 10(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10010030
Received: 24 October 2019 / Revised: 18 December 2019 / Accepted: 20 December 2019 / Published: 29 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Disposal)
Gas generation and migration are important processes that must be considered in a safety case for a deep geological repository (DGR) for the long-term containment of radioactive waste. Expansive soils, such as bentonite-based materials, are widely considered as sealing materials. Understanding their long-term performance as barriers to mitigate gas migration is vital in the design and long-term safety assessment of a DGR. Development and the application of numerical models are key to understanding the processes involved in gas migration. This study builds upon the authors’ previous work for developing a hydro-mechanical mathematical model for migration of gas through a low-permeable geomaterial based on the theoretical framework of poromechanics through the contribution of model verification. The study first derives analytical solutions for a 1D steady-state gas flow and 1D transient gas flow problem. Using the finite element method, the model is used to simulate 1D flow through a confined cylindrical sample of near-saturated low-permeable soil under a constant volume boundary stress condition. Verification of the numerical model is performed by comparing the pore-gas pressure evolution and stress evolution to that of the results of the analytical solution. The results of the numerical model closely matched those of the analytical solutions. Future studies will attempt to improve upon the model complexity and investigate processes and material characteristics that can enhance gas migration in a nearly saturated swelling geomaterial. View Full-Text
Keywords: THMC modelling; model verification; multi-phase flow; gas migration; nuclear waste disposal; bentonite; expansive soils; swelling soils; swelling geomaterials THMC modelling; model verification; multi-phase flow; gas migration; nuclear waste disposal; bentonite; expansive soils; swelling soils; swelling geomaterials
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Dagher, E.E.; Infante Sedano, J.Á.; Nguyen, T.S. A Mathematical Model of Gas and Water Flow in a Swelling Geomaterial—Part 1. Verification with Analytical Solution. Minerals 2020, 10, 30.

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