To establish an optimization methodology for the emulsification process in microchannels, we have investigated the relationship between the channel geometry of micromixers and the size of the formed droplets. We focus the channel geometry of orifice including the sudden contraction and expansion of the flow. The experimental results indicate that the channel geometry is effective in producing fine droplets, and that the mean droplet diameter is predicted on the basis of the pressure drop due to convection and the energy dissipation rate in the mixer chamber irrespective of the orifice geometry. In the orifice-shaped micromixer, the kinetic energy given to a fluid by contraction is dissipated within the order of milliseconds by the formation of a jet flow of the order of several hundreds of micrometers; we have named this jet "micro-jet." On the basis of this mechanism, the energy dissipation rate in a micro-jet, εjet, is quantified. The mean droplet diameter is proportional to εjet-0.4 irrespective of the channel geometry of the mixer. Using this formulation, we have integrated the geometric parameters of the orifice and the physical properties of the fluids into the expression of εjet to establish an optimization methodology of the droplet formation in the orifice-shaped micromixer.
- Channel geometry
- Energy dissipation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering