Break up of silica nanoparticle clusters using ultrasonication
This study is concerned with the deagglomeration of hydrophilic silica nanoparticle clusters (Aerosil® 200V) in water using an ultrasonicator operated in batch mode. An impeller was also present in the tank to ensure homogeneity. The effect of power input was studied in the range of 18 to 77 W (9 to 39 kW m-3) on the kinetics and mechanisms of deagglomeration and the dispersion fineness. The effect of particle concentration was also studied in the range of 1 to 15% wt. The process was monitored through the evolution of particle size distribution (PSD), which indicated erosion as the dominant mechanism of breakup. The smallest attainable particle size was found to be independent of power input and solid concentration. Faster break up kinetics were noted as the power input was increased whereas increasing the solids concentration to 15% wt. slowed the process. It could also be shown that processing concentrated dispersions can be beneficial as the break up rate assessed on the basis of energy per unit mass of solids was faster for increased particle concentration.
- Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering
- Chemical Engineering