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Microfluidic systems undergo rapid expansion of its application in different industries over the few decades as its surface tension-dominated property provides better mixing and improves mass transfer between two immiscible liquids. Synthesis of biodiesel via transesterification of vegetable oil and methanol in microfluidic systems by droplet flow requires separation of the products after the reaction occurred. The separation technique for multiphase fluid flow in the microfluidic system is different from the macro-system, as the gravitational force is overtaken by surface force. To understand these phenomena completely, a study on the hydrodynamic characteristics of two-phase oil-methanol system in microchannel was carried out. A multiphase Volume of Fluid model was developed to predict the fluid flow in the microchannel. An inline separator design was proposed along with its variable to obtain effective separation for the oil-methanol system. The separation performance was evaluated based on the amount of oil recovered and its purity. The capability of the developed model has been validated through a comparison of simulation results with published experiment. It was predicted that the purity of recovered oil was increased by more than 46% when the design with side openings arranged at both sides of the microchannel. The highest percentage recovery of oil from the mixture was simulated at 91.3% by adding the number of side openings to ensure the maximum recovery. The oil that was separated by the inline separator was predicted to be at 100% purity, which indicates that no methanol contamination throughout the separation process. The purity of the separated product can be increased by manipulating the pressure drop across the side openings. Hence, it can be concluded that the separation in a large diameter microchannel system is possible and methodology can be tuned to achieve the separation goal. Finally, the simulation results showed that the present volume of fluid model had a good agreement with the published experiment.

Author's Affiliation
  • Chue Cui Ting

    Google Scholar Pubmed

  • Afiq Mohd Laziz

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  • Khoa Dang Dang Bui

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  • Ngoc Thi Nhu Nguyen

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  • Pha Ngoc Bui

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  • Khoa Ta Dang

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  • An Si Xuan Nguyen

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  • Ngon Trung Hoang

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  • Ku Zilati Ku Shaari

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  • Hoàng Huy Phước Lợi Phạm

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Article Details

Issue: Vol 4 No 2 (2021)
Page No.: 920-931
Published: May 9, 2021
Section: Research article

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Creative Commons License

Copyright: The Authors. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 4.0., which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

 How to Cite
Ting, C. C., Laziz, A. M., Bui, K. D. D., Nguyen, N. T. N., Bui, P. N., Dang, K., Nguyen, A. S. X., Hoang, N. T., Shaari, K. Z. K., & Phạm, H. H. P. L. (2021). Hydrodynamic studies on liquid-liquid two phase flow separation in microchannel by computational fluid dynamic modelling. VNUHCM Journal of Engineering and Technology, 4(2), 920-931.

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