Flow patterns and pressure drop of ionic liquid-water two-phase flows in microchannels

D. Tsaoulidis, V. Dore, P. Angeli, N.V. Plechkova, K.R. Seddon

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The two-phase flow of a hydrophobic ionic liquid and water was studied in capillaries made of three different materials (two types of Teflon, FEP and Tefzel, and glass) with sizes between 200µm and 270µm. The ionic liquid was 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bis{(trifluoromethyl)sulfonyl}amide, with density and viscosity of 1420kgm and 0.041kgms, respectively. Flow patterns and pressure drop were measured for two inlet configurations (T- and Y-junction), for total flow rates of 0.065-214.9cmh and ionic liquid volume fractions from 0.05 to 0.8. The continuous phase in the glass capillary depended on the fluid that initially filled the channel. When water was introduced first, it became the continuous phase with the ionic liquid forming plugs or a mixture of plugs and drops within it. In the Teflon microchannels, the order that fluids were introduced did not affect the results and the ionic liquid was always the continuous phase. The main patterns observed were annular, plug, and drop flow. Pressure drop in the Teflon microchannels at a constant ionic liquid flow rate, was found to increase as the ionic liquid volume fraction decreased, and was always higher than the single phase ionic liquid value at the same flow rate as in the two-phase mixture. However, in the glass microchannel during plug flow with water as the continuous phase, pressure drop for a constant ionic liquid flow rate was always lower than the single phase ionic liquid value. A modified plug flow pressure drop model using a correlation for film thickness derived for the current fluids pair showed very good agreement with the experimental data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Multiphase Flow
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sep 2013

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