Thickness of residual wetting film in liquid-liquid displacement

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2011-08-29
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Beresnev, Igor
Gaul, William
Vigil, R. Dennis
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Chemical and Biological Engineering

The function of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering has been to prepare students for the study and application of chemistry in industry. This focus has included preparation for employment in various industries as well as the development, design, and operation of equipment and processes within industry.Through the CBE Department, Iowa State University is nationally recognized for its initiatives in bioinformatics, biomaterials, bioproducts, metabolic/tissue engineering, multiphase computational fluid dynamics, advanced polymeric materials and nanostructured materials.

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The Department of Chemical Engineering was founded in 1913 under the Department of Physics and Illuminating Engineering. From 1915 to 1931 it was jointly administered by the Divisions of Industrial Science and Engineering, and from 1931 onward it has been under the Division/College of Engineering. In 1928 it merged with Mining Engineering, and from 1973–1979 it merged with Nuclear Engineering. It became Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2005.

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1913 - present

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  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1913–1928)
  • Department of Chemical and Mining Engineering (1928–1957)
  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1957–1973, 1979–2005)
    • Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (2005–present)

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Abstract

Core-annular flow is common in nature, representing, for example, how streams of oil, surrounded by water, move in petroleum reservoirs. Oil, typically a nonwetting fluid, tends to occupy the middle (core) part of a channel, while water forms a surrounding wall-wetting film. What is the thickness of the wetting film? A classic theory has been in existence for nearly 50 years offering a solution, although in a controversial manner, for moving gas bubbles. On the other hand, an acceptable, experimentally verified theory for a body of one liquid flowing in another has not been available. Here we develop a hydrodynamic, testable theory providing an explicit relationship between the thickness of the wetting film and fluid properties for a blob of one fluid moving in another, with neither phase being gas. In its relationship to the capillary number Ca, the thickness of the film is predicted to be proportional to Ca2 at lower Ca and to level off at a constant value of ∼20% the channel radius at higher Ca. The thickness of the film is deduced to be approximately unaffected by the viscosity ratio of the fluids. We have conducted our own laboratory experiments and compiled experimental data from other studies, all of which are mutually consistent and confirm the salient features of the theory. At the same time, the classic law, originally deduced for films surrounding moving gas bubbles but often believed to hold for liquids as well, fails to explain the observations.

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This article is from Physical Review E 84 (2011): 026327, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.84.026327. Posted with permission

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Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2011
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