Monodisperse microdroplets are formed, when a liquid is injected through a micropore into another immiscible liquid. Depending on the relative flow between the two phases, droplets may form in quiescent, coflowing and crossflowing environment. The dispersions of one phase liquid in another crossflowing liquid are observed in liquid emulsification process and the system has been used extensively in microfluidic devices to produce monodisperse microdroplets with controllable size. Liquid emulsions are widely used in food, cosmetics, pharmaceutics and polymer industries. In the present work, microdroplet formation in a crossflow membrane emulsification process has been investigated computationally using VOF/finite volume method. The full transient simulation has been carried out starting from the injection of dispersed phase to breakup into drops for different values of dispersed phase and continuous phase flow rate, surface tension and viscosity ratio of both the phases. Depending upon the values of the both phases, the droplet formation process shows the dripping and jetting behavior. The qualitative features of the two regimes and their transition have been correlated with different non-dimensional numbers such as Capillary number, Weber number and viscosity ratio of the two phase liquids. Some interesting nonlinear behavior such as period doubling been observed near the transition between the dripping and jetting regimes has. The topological characteristics of dripping, jetting and transition regimes in membrane emulsification have been observed different than in the cases of T-junction emulsification and flow focusing emulsification. Two ways of dripping to jetting transition have been observed, one with the increasing dispersed phase flow rate at constant continuous phase flow rate and other way is reducing the surface tension at constant dispersed phase flow rate. The effect of inertia force has been observed negligible for high value of surface tension and significant for lower surface tension value.
- Heat Transfer Division
Computational Investigation of Microdroplet Formation in a Crossflow Membrane Emulsification Process
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Pathak, M. "Computational Investigation of Microdroplet Formation in a Crossflow Membrane Emulsification Process." Proceedings of the ASME 2011 9th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels. ASME 2011 9th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels, Volume 2. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. June 19–22, 2011. pp. 337-346. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ICNMM2011-58033
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