Blending the boundaries: Enhancing ion transport with electrokinetics

Arputha Muthuselvi Samuel Paul

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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Most of chemical processes involving more than one phase are limited by boundary layers formed close to the interfaces since it determines the rate of transport of various species across the interfaces. One innovative way to reduce the boundary layer thickness is by creating a self-induced mixing within the layer i.e. velocities being generated only near the interface, instead of the conventional way of using energy dissipating techniques to stir the whole bulk fluid. This is possible by creating gradients (for example voltage or concentration) along the interfaces that induce fluid velocity near the interface. The motivation of this thesis is, therefore, to stimulate self induced mixing in order to enhance the transport of species across this boundary layer making the process more energy efficient. This work deals with diffusio and electro osmotic phenomena with an experimental emphasis on the influence of solid-fluid interface conditions. A mixing effect can be induced within an electric double layer by a potential gradient i.e electro-osmosis. Electro-osmosis represents the movement of fluid in contact with a solid under an applied electric field. It is one of the best ways to transport fluids inmicro/nano- scale without mechanical moving parts and it can generate large flow rates. The velocity induced by such surface driven process can be well-tuned by modifying charge on the surface. Thus, by varying the surface charge or zeta potential along the direction of the electric field, vortices can be generated on the surface. These vortices could be optimised for mixing within the boundary layer.
The goal of this research work is to use fundamental understanding of electrokinetics in order to reduce boundary layer thickness in electric-driven processes, leading to more efficient or intensified operation.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Lammertink, Rob G.H., Supervisor
  • Wood, Jeff, Co-Supervisor
Award date22 Sept 2023
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-5805-1
Electronic ISBNs978-90-365-5806-8
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2023


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