Simulating Pore-Scale Chemical Transport

Modelling velocity effect of rock pore-throats in COMSOL Multiphysics


Image-based modelling can be used to analyze mass transfer phenomena through porous media, with particular applications to reservoir rock pore-throats networks. The aim of these analyses is to improve our understanding and characterization of the way fluids move through variable pore-scales.

Using real geometries from micro-CT, this project involved generating a 3D model in Simpleware software for visualization and processing prior to meshing and export to COMSOL Multiphysics® for studying chemical transport mechanisms.


  • Micro-CT data of real rock geometries obtained from open source library
  • Image processing and segmentation in Simpleware ScanIP
  • Robust multiphase meshing of pore structure in Simpleware FE
  • Pore-scale chemical transport simulation in COMSOL Multiphysics®

Thanks to

Memorial University of Newfoundland: M. Mahmoodi

Image Processing

RAW image files of pore space and microstructure were obtained using micro-CT data from an open-source rock CT-image library provided by The Imperial College Consortium on Pore-Scale Modelling (PERM). Simpleware ScanIP was used to convert the data into a 3D-voxel based geometry ready to perform the meshing. This step is extremely complex due to usual noises originating from the CT scans. In order to render well-constructed rock and pore phases, a series of visual filters and image processing techniques have been applied in ScanIP software.



Visualization and segmentation of micro-CT data in Simpleware ScanIP

Visualization and segmentation of micro-CT data in Simpleware ScanIP


A very robust CFD mesh of the multiphase model was generated using the Simpleware FE module and exported directly to COMSOL Multiphysics®.


Meshed pore structure model using the Simpleware FE module

Meshed pore structure model using the Simpleware FE module

Numerical Simulation

The meshed porous media model was then imported to commercial PDE-solver COMSOL Multiphysics® for solving a Navier-Stokes equation and to calculate basic parameters such as absolute permeability. This workflow allowed for modelling of the transportation of chemical components in the real pore-level geometry.


COMSOL results (time dependent streamlines)


In this project a high-quality 3D model and robust mesh was generated in Simpleware software in order to simulate pore-scale chemical transport in porous media. The straightforward workflow sets up the potential for new rock physics studies into dispersion and diffusion, as well as multi-phase flow, depending on available computational resources.

Any Questions?

Do you have any questions about this case study or how to use Simpleware software for your own workflows?