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Two-Phase Flow Characteristics in a Co-Flow Induced Microchannel With Microbubbles Generation

[+] Author Affiliations
Sujin Yeom, Seung S. Lee, Sang Yong Lee

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, South Korea

Paper No. ICNMM2007-30091, pp. 899-906; 8 pages
  • ASME 2007 5th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels
  • ASME 5th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels
  • Puebla, Mexico, June 18–20, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4272-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3800-5
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


This paper presents a micro-fluidic device which generates micro-bubbles, ranging from 70μm to 160μm in diameter, and two-phase flow characteristics in the device were tested. The device is composed of three sub-channels: a centered gas channel (10μm×50μm) and two liquid channels (both with 85μm×50μm) on each side of the gas channel. Micro-bubbles are generated by co-flow of gas and liquid at the exit of the gas channel when the drag force becomes larger than the surface tension force as bubbles grow. Methanol and a gas mixture of CO2 and N2 were used as the working fluid. Since the flow rate of gas was very small, the gas momentum effect was considered negligible. Thus, in the present case, the controlling parameters were the liquid superficial velocity and the inlet pressure of the gas. A high speed camera was used to record two-phase flow patterns and micro-bubbles of the device. To confine the ranges of the micro-bubbles generation, two-phase flow patterns in the device is observed at first. Four different flow patterns were observed: annular, annular-slug, slug, and bubbly flow. In bubbly flows, uniform-sized micro-bubbles were generated, and the operating ranges of the liquid superficial velocity and the gas pressure were below 0.132 m/s and 0.7 bar, respectively. Diameters of the micro-bubbles appeared smaller with the higher superficial liquid velocity and/or with a lower gas pressure. Experimental results showed that, with the gas pressure lower than a certain level, the sizes of micro-bubbles were almost insensitive to the gas pressure. In such a ranges, the micro-bubble diameters could be estimated from a drag coefficient correlation, CDw = 31330/Re3 , which is different from the correlations for macro-channels due to a larger wall effect with the micro-channels. In the latter part of the paper, as a potential of application of the micro-bubble generator to gas analysis, dissolution behavior of the gas components into the liquid flow was examined. The result shows that the micro-bubble generator can be adopted as a component of miniaturized gas analyzers if a proper improvement could be made in controlling the bubble sizes effectively.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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