EGEE 500 - Physical Behavior of Energy & Geo-Environmental Systems


D. Elsworth, R. Hogg and A. Grader


Tu, Th – 2.30-3.45, 009 Business Building




To develop an understanding of important physical phenomena involved in geo-environmental systems. Systems are considered that cover the spectrum from fluids with infinitely dilute suspensions to solid media with interstitial fluids.



Course Outline


1. Review of Fluid Dynamics

  • Heat, mass and momentum transfer, fluid viscosity.
  • Mass conservation - the continuity equation.
  • Ideal fluids - energy conservation - Bernoulli's equation.
  • Momentum conservation, Navier-Stokes equation. Dimensionless groups - Reynolds Number, Froude number.
  • Steady, laminar flow - Poiseuille's law, Stokes law.
  • Boundarylayer theory.
  • Turbulent flow - eddies, scales of turbulence, energy dissipation
  • Flow in pipes and channels - friction factors, fanning equation. Irregular and partially filled channels, weirs.
  • Pumping - power requirements, efficiency, pump pressure.
  • Flow around submerged objects - drag coefficient.
  • Agitation and mixing – power requirements, mixing time, suspension of particles


2.    Suspensions of Solids in Fluids

  • Settling of particles - Stokes law, Newton's law, drag coefficient/Reynolds number correlations.
  • Hindered settling phenomena - theoretical basis, empirical relationships.
  • Flow of suspensions - rheology of non-Newtonian fluids. Measurement of rheological properties.


3.    Phase Behavior


4.   Flow through Porous Media (Diffusive - Pressure diffusive) (pdf notes)

  • Darcy’s law.
  • Multiple fluids - multiphase flows







5.  Heat and Mass Transport (Diffusive and Convective) (pdf notes)

  • Homogeneous reactions - Fick's law.
  • Reactors.
  • Non-ideal Flows.
  • Reactive Systems


6.   Flow of Powder and Bulk Solids (pdf notes)

  • Interrelationships of Navier-Stokes and Solid Mechanics Equations.
  • Stresses.
    • Continuum mechanics – Elasticity.
    • Discontinuum mechanics – Particulate systems.
  • Failure
  • Friction in static and flowing beds, angle of repose, internal friction  - Coulomb’s law.
  • Stresses in powders, the Mohr's circle, principal stresses, principal planes.
  • Stress distributions - equilibrium equation.
  • Strength of powders - yield loci.
  • Applications




Grading Policy




Take-Home Final








Attendance Policy


Attendance is required and absences will be questioned.


Academic Integrity Policy


Penn State’s policy on academic integrity applies to all aspects of course deliverables. Students are encouraged to work together, in groups, but to submit independent contributions where appropriate, and collaborative contributions where noted. Further details are available at:


Suggested Background Reading and Resources


  1. Bird, H. Stewart, and Lightfoot. Transport Phenomena. QA929/.B5/’60
  2. Munson, B.R., Young, D.F., and Okiishi, T.H. Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics. TA357.M86 1998
  3. Bain, A., and Bonnington. Hydraulic Transport of Solids by Pipeline. TJ 898/.B35
  4. Lapple, C. Fluid and Particle Mechanics. AQ901/.L3
  5. Bai, M. and Elsworth, D. Coupled Processes in Deformation, Flow, and Transport. TA705.B32 2000   
  6. Wang, H.F. Theory of Linear Poroelasticity. TA706.W34 2000   
  7. Domenico, P.A., and Schwartz, F.W. Physical and Chemical Hydrogeology. GB1003.2.D66 1998.
  8. Bear, J. Dynamics of Fluids on Porous Media. TA357.B38 1988.
  9. Fetter, C.W. Contaminant Hydrogeology. TD426.F48 1999   
  10. Levenspiel, O. Chemical Reaction Engineering. TP157.L4 1999   
  11. Fayed, M. and Otten, L. Handbook of Powder Science and Technology. TP156/.P3/H35/’94
  12. Craig, R.F. Soil Mechanics. TA710.C685 1997
  13. Lambe, T.W. and Whitman, R. Soil Mechanics. TA710.L245
  14. Brown, R., and Richards, J.C. Principles of Powder Mechanics. TA418/.78/.B7/’70