(181t) Experimental Study of Microbubble Coalescence in a T-Junction Microfluidic Device

Wang, K., Tsinghua University
Lu, Y., Tsinghua University
Luo, G., Tsinghua University

This study presents the microbubble coalescence process in a confined microchannel. A triple T-junction microfluidic device was designed to generate monodispersed microbubble pairs in the range of 362~543 μm with air/n-butyl alcohol-glycerol solution as the working system. The head-on collision of microbubble pair was realized in this microfluidic device. Three collision results including absolute coalescence, probabilistic coalescence and non-coalescence were distinguished. The effects of liquid viscosities and bubble superficial velocities on the coalescence behavior were determined. The results showed that the microbubble coalescence process in the confined space was slightly faster than in the free space. Increasing liquid viscosity has an effect that it was apparently preventing coalescence behavior. In the probabilistic coalescence region higher bubble superficial velocity could reduce the coalescence efficiency. Two characteristic parameters representing the bubble contact time and film drainage time have been introduced to analyze the microbubble coalescence behaviors and a linear correlation of w/j=1300μcd/g-55 could distinguish the coalescence and non-coalescence region clearly.