When a solute A dissolves into a host fluid containing a reactant B, an A + B → C reaction can influence the convection developing because of unstable density gradients in the gravity field. When A increases density and all three chemical species A, B and C diffuse at the same rate, the reactive case can lead to two different types of density profiles, i.e., a monotonically decreasing one from the interface to the bulk and a non-monotonic profile with a minimum. We study numerically here the nonlinear reactive convective dissolution dynamics in the more general case where the three solutes can diffuse at different rates. We show that differential diffusion can add new dynamic effects like the simultaneous presence of two different convection zones in the host phase when a non-monotonic profile with both a minimum and a maximum develops. Double diffusive instabilities can moreover affect the morphology of the convective fingers. Analysis of the mixing zone, the reaction rate, the total amount of stored A and the dissolution flux further shows that varying the diffusion coefficients of the various species has a quantitative effect on convection.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited