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Dynamics and controllability of droplet fusion under gas–liquid–liquid three-phase flow in a microfluidic reactor

Dynamics and controllability of droplet fusion under gas–liquid–liquid three-phase flow in a microfluidic reactor
Dynamics and controllability of droplet fusion under gas–liquid–liquid three-phase flow in a microfluidic reactor
Gas–liquid–liquid three-phase flow systems have unique advantages of controlling reagent manipulation and improving reaction performance. However, there remains a lack of insight into the dynamics and controllability of water droplet fusion assisted by gas bubbles, particularly scaling laws for use in the design and operation of complex multiphase flow processes. In the present work, a microfluidic reactor with three T-junctions was employed to sequentially generate gas bubbles and then fuse two dispersed water droplets. The formation of the dispersed phase was divided into multiple stages, and the bubble/droplet size was correlated with operating parameters. The formation of the second dispersed droplet at the third T-junction was accompanied by the fusion of the two dispersed water droplets that were formed. It revealed a two-stage process (i.e. drainage and fusion) for the two droplets to fuse while becoming mature by breaking-up with the secondary water supply stream. In addition, a droplet contact model was employed to understand the influence on the process stability and uniformity of the merged/fused droplets by varying the surfactant concentration (in oil), the viscosity of the water phase, and the flow rates of different fluids. The study provides a deeper understanding of the droplet fusion characteristics on gas–liquid–liquid three-phase flow in microreactors for a wide range of applications.
2046-2069
14322-14330
Hao, Yanyan
87019003-7939-4e13-852a-815db4e56f9f
Jin, Nan
fc249849-9c44-4662-9f87-6e69ccc80d3d
Wang, Qiangqiang
e2c0cebb-ed22-4158-bcbd-69107a7f6c8d
Zhou, Yufei
cf335418-f1a9-4e20-9c52-3bb796665bec
Zhao, Yuchao
f9e14ac5-b0ba-49b8-8e63-72c1d5d3755d
Zhang, Xunli
d7cf1181-3276-4da1-9150-e212b333abb1
Lü, Hongying
bc92147a-4f82-4abc-9d4e-9423d5116207
Hao, Yanyan
87019003-7939-4e13-852a-815db4e56f9f
Jin, Nan
fc249849-9c44-4662-9f87-6e69ccc80d3d
Wang, Qiangqiang
e2c0cebb-ed22-4158-bcbd-69107a7f6c8d
Zhou, Yufei
cf335418-f1a9-4e20-9c52-3bb796665bec
Zhao, Yuchao
f9e14ac5-b0ba-49b8-8e63-72c1d5d3755d
Zhang, Xunli
d7cf1181-3276-4da1-9150-e212b333abb1
Lü, Hongying
bc92147a-4f82-4abc-9d4e-9423d5116207

Hao, Yanyan, Jin, Nan, Wang, Qiangqiang, Zhou, Yufei, Zhao, Yuchao, Zhang, Xunli and Lü, Hongying (2020) Dynamics and controllability of droplet fusion under gas–liquid–liquid three-phase flow in a microfluidic reactor. RSC Advances, 10 (24), 14322-14330. (doi:10.1039/D0RA00913J).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Gas–liquid–liquid three-phase flow systems have unique advantages of controlling reagent manipulation and improving reaction performance. However, there remains a lack of insight into the dynamics and controllability of water droplet fusion assisted by gas bubbles, particularly scaling laws for use in the design and operation of complex multiphase flow processes. In the present work, a microfluidic reactor with three T-junctions was employed to sequentially generate gas bubbles and then fuse two dispersed water droplets. The formation of the dispersed phase was divided into multiple stages, and the bubble/droplet size was correlated with operating parameters. The formation of the second dispersed droplet at the third T-junction was accompanied by the fusion of the two dispersed water droplets that were formed. It revealed a two-stage process (i.e. drainage and fusion) for the two droplets to fuse while becoming mature by breaking-up with the secondary water supply stream. In addition, a droplet contact model was employed to understand the influence on the process stability and uniformity of the merged/fused droplets by varying the surfactant concentration (in oil), the viscosity of the water phase, and the flow rates of different fluids. The study provides a deeper understanding of the droplet fusion characteristics on gas–liquid–liquid three-phase flow in microreactors for a wide range of applications.

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Dynamics and controllability of droplet fusion Hao2020 - Version of Record
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Accepted/In Press date: 17 March 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 7 April 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 439396
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/439396
ISSN: 2046-2069
PURE UUID: 6ce74f9e-e877-4708-89af-b6231b0a1c53
ORCID for Xunli Zhang: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4375-1571

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Apr 2020 16:31
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:52

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Contributors

Author: Yanyan Hao
Author: Nan Jin
Author: Qiangqiang Wang
Author: Yufei Zhou
Author: Yuchao Zhao
Author: Xunli Zhang ORCID iD
Author: Hongying Lü

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