Effect of viscosities of dispersed and continuous phases in microchannel oil-in-water emulsification

K.C. van Dijke, I. Kobayashi, C.G.P.H. Schroën, K. Uemura, M. Nakajima, R.M. Boom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although many aspects of microchannel emulsification have been covered in literature, one major uncharted area is the effect of viscosity of both phases on droplet size in the stable droplet generation regime. It is expected that for droplet formation to take place, the inflow of the continuous phase should be sufficiently fast compared to the outflow of the liquid that is forming the droplet. The ratio of the viscosities was therefore varied by using a range of continuous and dispersed phases, both experimentally and computationally. At high viscosity ratio (eta (d)/eta (c)), the droplet size is constant; the inflow of the continuous phase is fast compared to the outflow of the dispersed phase. At lower ratios, the droplet diameter increases, until a viscosity ratio is reached at which droplet formation is no longer possible (the minimal ratio). This was confirmed and elucidated through CFD simulations. The limiting value is shown to be a function of the microchannel design, and this should be adapted to the viscosity of the two fluids that need to be emulsified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-85
JournalMicrofluidics and Nanofluidics
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • droplet formation
  • membrane emulsification
  • silicon plate
  • model
  • generation
  • emulsions
  • junction
  • bubbles
  • device
  • array

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