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Numerical analyses of bubble point tests used for membrane characterisation: model development and experimental validation

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journal contribution
posted on 15.11.2010, 16:09 by Vahid Nassehi, Diganta DasDiganta Das, Ihab M.T.A. Shigidi, Richard J. Wakeman
A numerical model for simulating the microhydrodynamics inside different pore sizes was developed in this work, using a continuous penalty finite element scheme. This scheme combines the flexibility in modelling two phase systems, as the one simulated in this work with accuracy. The volume of fluid (VOF) method was applied to track the motion of the gasliquid interfacial boundary as an approach to monitor the repulsion of the wetting liquid from the pores to detect their bubble pressures. To resolve the complexities arising from the inclusion of the surface tension at the liquid-gas interface as an unknown dynamic condition it is treated as a resistance force in the equations of motion. The effects of the surface tension and other forces such as the buoyancy are then determined by model calibration with respect to a set of experimental data. To obtain the experimental data, the bubble point test was used to characterise different Nuclepore track etched membrane samples, which provided insights into the mechanisms underlying the test and into the interpretation of the pore size distribution. The experimental data are used to calibrate the numerical model. The calibrated model was, in turn, used to predict the outcome of bubble point tests for a range of inlet boundary conditions. The results obtained from these simulations are shown to be in good agreement with of the experimental data, indicating the ability of the developed model to accurately predict the bubble point pressure.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Chemical Engineering


NASSEHI, V. ... et al., 2011. Numerical analyses of bubble point tests used for membrane characterisation: model development and experimental validation. Asia-Pacific Journal of Chemical Engineering, 6 (6), pp. 850-862.


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This is the pre-peer-reviewed version of an article submitted for publication in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Chemical Engineering [© Curtin University of Technology and John Wiley and Sons Ltd.], which has been published in its final form at: