Loughborough University
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Breakup of nanoparticle clusters using microfluidizerM110-P

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-02-02, 11:10 authored by Emmanuela Gavi, Dominik Kubicki, Gustavo A. Padron, Gul Ozcan-TaskinGul Ozcan-Taskin
A commercial design, bench scale microfluidic processor, Microfluidics M110-P, was used to study the deagglomeration of clusters of nanosized silica particles. Breakup kinetics, mechanisms and the smallest attainable size were determined over a range of particle concentrations of up to 17% wt. in water and liquid viscosities of up to 0.09 Pa s at 1% wt. particle concentration. The device was found to be effective in achieving complete breakup of agglomerates into submicron size aggregates of around 150 nm over the range covered. A single pass was sufficient to achieve this at a low particle concentration and liquid viscosity. As the particle concentration or continuous phase viscosity was increased, either a higher number of passes or a higher power input (for the same number of passes) was required to obtain a dispersion with a size distribution in the submicron range. Breakup took place through erosion resulting in a dispersion of a given mean diameter range regardless of the operating condition. This is in line with results obtained using rotor-stators. Breakup kinetics compared on the basis of energy density indicated that whilst Microfluidizer M110-P and an in-line rotor-stator equipped with the emulsor screen are of similar performance at a viscosity of 0.01 Pa s, fines volume fraction achieved with the Microfluidizer was much higher at a viscosity of 0.09 Pa s.


The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial and technical contributions of the industrial members of the DOMINO consortium.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Chemical Engineering

Published in

Chemical Engineering Research and Design


GAVI, E. ...et al., 2018. Breakup of nanoparticle clusters using microfluidizerM110-P. Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 132, pp.902-912.


Elsevier © Institution of Chemical Engineers


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Chemical Engineering Research and Design and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cherd.2018.01.011. This paper was presented at International Symposium on Mixing in Industrial Processes IX (ISMIP9), Birmingham, UK, 25th-28th June 2017




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