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Laminar and turbulent liquid-liquid dispersions: a lattice Boltzmann study Open Access


Other title
free energy model
liquid-liquid dispersion
turbulent dispersion
Lattice Boltzmann
drop breakup and deformation
numerical simulation
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Komrakova, Alexandra E.
Supervisor and department
Derksen, Jos (Chemical and Materials Engineering, UofA)
Examining committee member and department
Nikrityuk, Petr (Chemical and Materials Engineering, UofA)
Minev, Peter (Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, UofA)
Kresta, Suzanne (Chemical and Materials Engineering, UofA)
Derksen, Jos (Chemical and Materials Engineering, UofA)
Eskin, Dmitry (Schlumberger and Adjunct Professor at Chemical and Materials Engineering at UofA)
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
A numerical approach based on a diffuse-interface free energy lattice Boltzmann equation method is developed to gain fundamental insight in liquid-liquid dispersions. The approach relies on detailed resolution of the interaction of the dispersed and continuous phases at the microscopic level, including drop breakup and coalescence. Several studies have been performed. A study of the gravity-driven motion of a single n-butanol drop in water demonstrates that the method handles complex drop deformations, including shape-oscillating motion of drops. Simulations of a single liquid drop in simple shear flow were used to assess the impact of numerical parameters on drop deformation levels. At higher capillary numbers the simulations capture endpinching and capillary wave breakup mechanisms. The method handles a range of shearing conditions from near-creeping flow, to drop Reynolds of 50, also a viscosity ratio range (dispersed phase over continuous phase viscosity) of 0.1-3.0. The feasibility of direct numerical simulations of turbulently agitated liquid-liquid dispersions is demonstrated. Three-dimensional simulations are carried out in fully-periodic cubic domains with grids of size 500^3 and 1000^3 and the resolution of the Kolmogorov length scale in the range 1-10 lattice units. The process of dispersion formation is visualized, revealing the details of breakup and coalescence. However, several numerical issues are encountered: appearance of spurious currents over liquid-liquid interface, dissolution of small drops, and easy coalescence of drops. The effects of each drawback on the results are discussed.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Lattice Boltzmann simulations of a single n-butanol drop rising in water Komrakova, A. E. and Eskin, D. and Derksen, J. J., Physics of Fluids (1994-present), 25, 042102 (2013), DOI:
. Komrakova, Orest Shardt, D. Eskin, J.J. Derksen, Lattice Boltzmann simulations of drop deformation and breakup in shear flow, International Journal of Multiphase Flow, Volume 59, February 2014, Pages 24-43, ISSN 0301-9322,
. (
) Keywords: Drop deformation and breakup; Lattice Boltzmann method; Binary liquid model; Peclet and Cahn numbers

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