The flow of viscous fluids through porous media has importance in industrial, geophysical and biochemical applications. Hydrology, petroleum engineering, chemical engineering, electrochemical engineering and biomedical problems are the areas where the role of porous media is significant. In nature such flows occur in cases of water movement in the earth and sand structures such as dams, flow to wells from water bearing formation, intrusion of sea water to the coastal area and the flow of river water through porous banks. The results of fluid flow through porous media has application in the production of petroleum and natural gases, well drilling and logging. In biochemical and medicine engineering the flow of blood and other body fluids through porous veins are few examples where the role-played by porous media is critical.
Work and research in a variety of disciplines involves the transport in porous media. It has applications in many engineering branches:
(i) In petroleum engineering (concrete is porous medium and soli is deformable porous medium) (ii) In civil engineering
(iii) In chemical engineering in heat and mass transfer in bed reactors
(iv) Chemicals in lungs and other organs, as studies in biomedical engineering.
In the oil industry there is heavy demand for diffusion in porous media. This interest arises because of the influence of dispersion on miscible-displacement processes. Mixing and dissipation of the slug occur due to diffusion and dispersion mechanism. On the other hand, dispersion may tend to damp-out viscous fingers which may be channeling through the miscible slug.
In recent years considerable attention has been gained in convective heat transfer in fluid saturated porous media. In porous media, the radiative heat transfer and multiphase transport process has gained considerable attention in recent years.