Project Ref: NGCM-0095
Supervisor: Anatoliy Vorobev
Research Group: Energy Technology Research Group
Research Area: Computational Engineering
Project Description: The primary objective is to develop a completely new physical and mathematical model of the thermo- and hydrodynamic evolution of non-equilibrium liquid/liquid and gas/liquid binary mixtures. This will be a breakthrough achievement in the understanding of the hydrodynamics of dissolution and sorption processes. The model will be capable of tracking the topological transformations of miscible interfaces taking into account dynamic variations of interfacial stresses, non-Fickian nature of the interfacial diffusion, and temperature inhomogeneities imposed by non-uniform heating or appearing due to latent heats of mixing/de-mixing (or, absorption/desorption). The model will be used to investigate the dissolution/sorption dynamics of liquid and gaseous inclusions in liquid solvents.A consistent physics-based macroscopic description of the evolution of miscible multiphase systems can be given within the framework of the phase-field approach. The isothermal version of the model has been earlier derived and tested against the experimental data, confirming that the description provided by this approach is accurate, capable of reproducing the changes in interface shape, thickness, hydrodynamic flows generated by concentration gradients etc. The diffusive dynamics is however not always accurately reproduced, and a possible reason is an omission of the non-isothermal effects that should include the latent heats of phase transition. We wish to extend the earlier models by inclusion of the non-isothermal effects, including e.g. the gain in entropy due to mixing, and then, on the basis of the multiple-scale method, to derive the working theoretical model for the processes of dissolution and sorption. The resultant model is a long-awaited step vitally important for the accurate modelling (and hence for further optimisation and scale up) of various industrial processes, such as chemical oil extraction (extraction of essential oils from natural feedstock), pharmaceutical manufacturing (e.g., dissolution of biocompatible polymers and formation of nanoparticles), chemical engineering (numerous technologies, as mixing of substances is generally needed before chemical reactions can occur), enhanced oil recovery (miscible displacement), and others.
If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Anatoliy Vorobev, Email: A.Vorobev@soton.ac.uk, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 598345
Keywords: Applied Mathematics, Applied Physics, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Fluid Dynamics, Mechanical Engineering, Software Engineering
Support: All studentships provide access to our unique facilities and training and research support .