Rheological behavior and nano-microstructure of complex fluids: Biomedical and Bitumen-Heavy oil applications

  • Author / Creator
    Hasan, MD. Anwarul
  • The main objective of this research was to exploit the interrelations between the rheological behavior and nano-microstructure of complex fluids in solving two state-of-the-art problems, one in the field of biomedical engineering: controlling the amount and characteristics of bioaerosol droplets generated during coughing, and the other in the bitumen-heavy oil industry: characterizing the nano-microstructure of asphaltene particles in bitumen and heavy oil from their rheological behavior. For the first problem, effect of viscoelastic and surface properties of artificial mucus simulant gels on the size distribution and amount of airborne bioaerosol droplets generated during simulated coughing were investigated. The results revealed that suppressing the generation of bioaerosol droplets and/or reducing the number of emitted droplets to a minimum during coughing are practically achievable through modulation of mucus viscoelastic properties. While variation of surface tension did not show any change in the droplet size distribution, an increase in particle size was observed as the samples changed from elastic solid type to viscoelastic type to viscous fluid type samples. This knowledge will help in the development of a new class of drugs being developed at the University of Alberta, aimed at controlling the transmission of airborne epidemic diseases by modifying the viscoelastic properties of mucus. For the second problem, studies of viscoelastic behavior of Athabasca bitumen (Alberta) and Maya crude (Mexico) oil samples, along with their Nano-filtered and chemically separated-plus-reconstituted samples were performed. The results revealed that the rheological behaviors of the bitumen-heavy oil samples are governed by their multiphase nature. The rheological behavior of all feeds, permeates and retentate samples followed a single master curve over the entire temperature interval, consistent with that of a slurry comprising a Newtonian liquid plus a dispersed solid comprising non-interacting hard spheres. The behavior of asphaltenes in the reconstituted samples, however, was found to be significantly different from that in nanofiltered samples. The information about the characteristics and behaviors of asphaltenes obtained in this study will help better understand the asphaltene structures, and support the effort to determine solutions for numerous asphaltene-related industrial problems. In the long run, this knowledge will help to create more efficient extraction and upgrading processes for bitumen and heavy oils.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2010
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.