Lattice Boltzmann simulations of pinched flow fractionation

Orest Shardt*, Sushanta K. Mitra, J. J. Derksen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Direct numerical simulations of microsphere motion through a microfluidic separation device (pinched flow fractionation, PFF, device) were performed using the lattice Boltzmann method. The results were compared with the original experimental work on PFF by Yamada et al. (2004). The effects of the pinched segment width and the ratio between the particle solution and diluent flow rates were studied. Both analyses showed agreement with the experimental trends. Previous modelling of PFF has relied on the assumption that particles follow streamlines, and this assumption was evaluated. The simulations indicated that large particles experience a lift force due to a region of low pressure between the particle and the wall of the pinch. The lift force attracts the particles to the wall as they exit the pinched segment. Smaller particles experience a much weaker force. This force may provide an explanation for the experimental observation that a sharp expansion provides better separation performance than a gradual expansion, an effect that cannot be explained by streamline analyses. (c) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-119
Number of pages14
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Volume75
Early online date19 Mar 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2012

Keywords

  • Simulation
  • Laminar flow
  • Microfluidics
  • Pinched flow fractionation
  • Separations
  • Fluid mechanics
  • CONTINUOUS SIZE SEPARATION
  • FINITE REYNOLDS-NUMBER
  • NUMERICAL SIMULATIONS
  • SPHERICAL-PARTICLE
  • MICROCHANNEL
  • LIFT
  • FORCE
  • WALL
  • SUSPENSIONS
  • EQUATION

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