(Sensors, Materials for Advanced Research in Renewable-energy and Technology)
We are exploring the chemical reactions at the interface of two phase oil-water micro-flow inside a ‘T’ junction microfluidic reactor. Due to the application of external AC electric field, Maxwell stress generated at the interface of the two phase flow helps to create droplets from the conventional stratified pressure driven flow. The reactants present in the bulk phases start reacting at the interface and the product of the reaction starts diffusing from the interface to the core of the droplet due to the internal mixing inside it and from the interface to bulk. Different configurations of the microfluidic reactor set up are studied where AC field frequency varies in order to produce different yields and conversion of a reaction. Frequency of the AC electric field is varied to get the deviation in the flow pattern and the throughput of the droplet production inside the microchannel, which in turn vary the conversion of reactant and the yield of product inside the microfluidic reactor. Surface to volume ratio of the minuscule flow structures and frequency of droplet ejection significantly alters the product yield and conversion of a reactant in a particular reaction inside the microchannel. Presently, we are planning to explore computationally various microreactors to develop lab-on-a-chip chemical engineering applications resembling distillation, mixing, extraction, leaching, absorption, and desorption, among others. We ae using computational fluid dynamics, molecular dynamic simulations, and various analytical methods to study explore various interesting aspects of these systems.