Liquid/liquid dispersion in a chaotic advection flow
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MULTIPHASE FLOW
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Mixing by chaotic advection in a twisted-pipe flow is used here to investigate the efficiency of this flow in the liquid/liquid dispersion process. This study focuses on water/oil dispersions produced by continuous water injection into a main oil flow, for small Dean numbers. The drop sizes obtained with the chaoticadvection twisted-pipe flow are compared with those in a straight pipe and a helically coiled flow for the same conditions. It is found that the resulting dispersions are finer and more mono-dispersed in the chaotic advection flow. These results are compared with the theoretical maximum diameter d(max) determined by the Grace theory in which the viscous stress controls the breakup phenomena. For this purpose, the kinematic field is computed from the theoretical formulae for Dean flow. The strain rate fields in the pipe cross-section are then analytically computed and used to predict the maximum drop diameter. The theoretical values are identical for the three configurations (straight, helically coiled, and twisted pipe) up to a critical Dean number, where the secondary flow becomes significant. Beyond this value, the shear stress is enhanced in the twisted-pipe flow compared with the straight-pipe flow, and the predicted drop diameters are smaller. An interpretation of the higher dispersive performance of the chaotic flow is provided by the Lagrangian trajectories of the particles. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.