The Dependency of Diffusion Coefficients and Geometric Factor on the Size of the Diffusing Molecule: Observations for Different Clay-Based Materials

Elke Jacops, Marc Aertsens, Norbert Maes, Christophe Bruggeman, Rudy Swennen, Bernhard Krooss, Alexandra Amann-Hildenbrand, Ralf Littke

Research outputpeer-review


In order to investigate in more detail the relation between the size of diffusing molecules and their diffusion coefficients (and geometric factors), diffusion experiments with gases of different size and tritiated water (HTO) have been performed on different clayey samples (BoomClay, Eigenbilzen Sands, Opalinus Clay, Callovo-Oxfordian Clay, and bentonite with different dry densities). We observed that, for unreactive gases in clayey materials, the effective diffusion coefficient varies with the size of the diffusing molecule and this variation can be described by an exponential or a power law function.The variation of the geometric factor can also be described by an exponential function.The observed experimental relations can be used to estimate diffusion coefficients; by measuring experimentally in clay the effective diffusion coefficient of two unreactive dissolved gases with a different size, the diffusion coefficients of other dissolved gases (with a size in between the two measured gases) can be estimated by using the fitted exponential relationship.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberID 8652560
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 27 Dec 2017

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