Results are presented from a numerical study examining the flow of a viscous, incompressible fluid through random packing of nonoverlapping spheres at moderate Reynolds numbers (based on pore permeability and interstitial fluid velocity), spanning a wide range of flow conditions for porous media. By using a laminar model including inertial terms and assuming rough walls, numerical solutions of the Navier-Stokes equations in three-dimensional porous packed beds resulted in dimensionless pressure drops in excellent agreement with those reported in a previous study (Fand et al., 1987). This observation suggests that no transition to turbulence could occur in the range of Reynolds number studied. For flows in the Forchheimer regime, numerical results are presented of the lateral dispersivity of solute continuously injected into a three-dimensional bounded granular bed at moderate Peclet numbers. Lateral fluid dispersion coefficients are calculated by comparing the concentration profiles obtained from numerical and analytical methods. Comparing the present numerical results with data available in the literature, no evidence has been found to support the speculations by others for a transition from laminar to turbulent regimes in porous media at a critical Reynolds number.

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