The problem of condensation in a porous medium near a cold vertical surface is investigated numerically and experimentally. Numerical solutions to the mathematical model, which assumes that a distinct two-phase zone exists between the liquid and the vapor phases, compare favorably with the experimental results. Experiments were performed for steam condensing in packed beds of glass beads of three different sizes. In the numerical model, the effect of the vapor flow in the two-phase zone is included. The interfacial velocity was determined through the matching of shear stress and a total mass balance. The predicted interfacial velocities are around one to two orders of magnitude smaller than the Darcy velocity. The calculated liquid film thicknesses are on the order of the diameter of the glass beads. The results, presented in dimensionless format, are applicable to transport processes in geothermal reservoirs, steam-driven enhanced petroleum recovery, and a number of industrial applications.

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