Numerical study of mass transfer enhanced by theromocapillary convection in a 2-D microscale channel Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/r207tr93j

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  • The effect of unsteady thermocapillary convection on the mass transfer rate of a solute between two immiscible liquids within a rectangular microscale channel with differentially heated sidewalls was numerically investigated. A computational fluid dynamic code in Fortran77 was developed using the finite volume method with Marker and Cell (MAC) technique to solve the governing equations. The discrete surface tracking technique was used to capture the location of the moving liquid-liquid interface. The code produced results consistent with those reported in published literature. The effect of the temperature gradients, the aspect ratio, the viscosity of liquid, and the deformation of the interface on the mass transfer rate of a solute were studied. The mass transfer rate increases with increasing temperature gradient. The improvement of the mass transfer rate by the thermocapillary convection was found to be a function of the Peclet number (Pe). At small Pe, the improvement of the mass transfer rate increases with increasing Pe. At high Pe, increasing the Pe has no significant effect on increasing the mass transfer rate. Increasing the aspect ratio of the cavity up to 1 increases the mass transfer rate. When the aspect ratio is higher than 1, the vortex moves only near the interface, resulting in decreasing the mass transfer rate. By increasing the viscosity of the liquid in top phase, the maximum tangential velocity at the interface decreases. As a result, the improvement of the mass transfer rate decreases. The deformation of the interface has no significant effect on the improvement of the mass transfer rate. By placing the heating source at the middle of the cavity, two steady vortices can be induced in a cavity. As a result, the mass transfer rate is slightly enhanced than that in the system with one vortex. By reversing the direction of the temperature gradient, the mass transfer rate decreases due to the decrease in the velocity of bulk fluid. The thermocapillary convection also promotes the overall reaction process when the top wall of the cavity is served as a catalyst.
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