Multiphase Flows

What is the mechanism for the clogging of pores? How does filtration work on a single pore level? We use microfluidic devices to study the transport and clogging of particles in model pores. This allows us to directly monitor the clogging process at the single pore level.

Clogging at the single pore level

We study the dynamics of clogging at the single pore level in a geometry with a series of parallel channels. We study the dependence of the clogging dynamics on the particle volume fraction, the fluid flow rate, and the pore/particle size ratio. We propose a simple model description based on a particle-by-particle buildup, which accounts for our experimental observations.

A colloidal suspension flowing (from top to bottom) through a series of channels in a microfluidic device. Note the filter cake buildup at the top, and the flow pattern at the bottom.