Fundamentals and applications of pressure and external field driven oil-water microflows

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Microfluidic devices offer the possibility of scaling down the size of several existing scientific and industrially important equipment having an enhanced efficiency, such as, microreactors- for reaction engineering, microrheometers- for rheological measurements, and microemulsifiers- for emulsification, etc. Due to this reason, it has attracted the attention of many professionals from both industries and academics, and have emerged as a promising area of research. Here, in the present thesis, we aim to explore various aspects of two-phase flow in a microfluidic channel. In order to make a systematic study, the whole work is divided into seven chapters, which are discussed here.In Chapter 1, we present a general overview of two-phase flow in microchannel. A brief literature review on pressure and external field driven two-phase flow in microchannels are described. It also covers a brief literature review on various phenomena and methodologies towards solar energy harvesting. The review of these literatures helped us in identifying various futuristic alternatives or directions of research which are related to two-phase flows in microchannel. The objectives and layout of the present work have been organised based on the literature review made here.The design and optimal operation of the contemporary miniature technologies for various applications requires an in depth fundamental understanding of the hydrodynamics of two-phase flows, mainly the flow patterns and its pressure drop studies. In Chapter 2, we developed a probabilistic neural network (PNN) model for prediction of flow patterns and their transition boundaries for gas-liquid and liquid-liquid flow systems in microchannels. The percentage accuracy of PNN was found to be higher than the same obtained from various analytical models available in literature. Also, detailed knowledge of the various flow morphologies inside the microscale setups under a varied range of operating parameters have been envisioned to develop various next-generation engineering prototypes.
Supervisors: Tapas Kumar Mandal and Dipankar Bandyopadhyay