Lattice Boltzmann simulation and fractal analysis of effective thermal conductivity in porous media

Qin Xuan, Jianchao Cai* (Corresponding Author), Yingfang Zhou* (Corresponding Author), Zhiqin Kang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Heat transfer in porous media has been attracting wide attention in a variety of scientific researches and engineering applications over the past decades. Due to the complexity of pore-solid microstructural features, an accurate simulation of heat transport process and evaluation of effective thermal conductivity in saturated porous media remain a great challenge. In this work, the lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) simulation of fluid-solid coupling heat transfer and a fractal model are adopted to study the thermal transport property in three-dimensional porous media. The accuracy and reliability of the proposed LBM simulation is validated by the effective thermal conductivity of a straight capillary tube, which analytical solution is available. The relation between effective thermal conductivity in porous media with different geometrical parameters based on the LBM simulation and fractal model are analyzed and discussed extensively. The result shows that the proposed LBM fluid-solid coupling simulation is an efficient tool to describe the heat transfer in complex porous media and the fractal dimension not only has an important effect on accurately estimating the effective thermal conductivity but also may be a useful parameter to determine the representative elemental volume (REV) of porous media. It is also found that compared with LBM simulation, the fractal model over predicates the effective thermal conductivity and the Maxwell model under predicates the effective thermal conductivity. The proposed LBM simulation and fractal model may reveal a better understanding for the thermophysical mechanisms of heat transfer in porous media.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115562
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Early online date8 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

J. Cai acknowledges support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41722403), the Hubei Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 2018CFA051), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (China University of Geosciences, Wuhan) (No. CUGGC04). X. Qin acknowledges support from the China Scholarship Council and British Council’s financial for his stay in University of Aberdeen. Y. Zhou acknowledges support from the Royal Society and Royal Society Edinburgh for his travel in China through the International Exchange Program.


  • effective thermal conductivity
  • Lattice Boltzmann method
  • fractal model
  • porous media
  • Porous media
  • Effective thermal conductivity
  • Fractal model


Dive into the research topics of 'Lattice Boltzmann simulation and fractal analysis of effective thermal conductivity in porous media'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this