PhD Studentship: Hydrodynamics of sorption

PhD Studentship: Hydrodynamics of sorption

Engineering & the Environment

Location: Highfield Campus

Closing Date:  Thursday 21 December 2017

Reference: 822016F2

Project Reference: NGCM-0095

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.

This project is run through participation in the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Next Generation Computational Modelling (http://ngcm.soton.ac.uk). For details of our 4 Year PhD programme, please see http://www.findaphd.com/search/PhDDetails.aspx?CAID=331&LID;=2652

For a details of available projects click here http://www.ngcm.soton.ac.uk/projects/index.html

Further details:

  • Job Description and Person Specification