Lattice Boltzmann simulations of droplet formation in a T-shaped microchannel

S. van der Graaf, T. Nisisako, C.G.P.H. Schroën, R.G.M. van der Sman, R.M. Boom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

272 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the formation of a droplet from a single pore in a glass chip, which is a model system for droplet formation in membrane emulsification. Droplet formation was simulated with the lattice Boltzmann method, a method suitable for modeling on the mesoscale. We validated the lattice Boltzmann code with several benchmarks such as the flow profile in a rectangular channel, droplet deformation between two shearing plates, and a sessile drop on a plate with different wetting conditions. In all cases, the modeling results were in good agreement with the benchmark. A comparison of experimental droplet formation in a microchannel glass chip showed good quantitative agreement with the modeling results. With this code, droplet formation simulations with various interfacial tensions and various flow rates were performed. All resulting droplet sizes could be correlated quantitatively with the capillary number and the fluxes in the system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4144-4152
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • in-water emulsions
  • membrane emulsification
  • numerical-simulation
  • complex fluids
  • liquid-gas
  • model
  • flows
  • interface
  • dynamics
  • mixture

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