Experimental determination and computational prediction of the mixing efficiency of a simple, continuous, serpentine-channel microdevice

Siril Arockiam, Yu Hsuan Cheng, Piero M. Armenante, Sagnik Basuray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Micromixing devices often utilize complex architectures to mix miscible liquid streams and can be complex and expensive to fabricate. Here, we developed, built, experimentally tested, and computationally analyzed a serpentine micromixer that can be fabricated using simple tools and supplies available in non-microdevice dedicated laboratories. Fluorescence imaging was used to quantify its mixing effectiveness experimentally. A Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software package (COMSOL) was used to model the micromixing process. The predictions were in excellent agreement with the experimental data. The serpentine micromixer can achieve significant levels of mixing efficiency. CFD predictions for a straight microfluidic channel of the same length as the serpentine favorably compared with previous theoretical predictions, indicating that the serpentine's mixing efficiency was vastly superior. Finally, CFD predictions were conducted for different and possibly improved designs of the basic serpentine. In all cases, the mixing efficiency was primarily associated with the number of 90o elbows in the device rather than the straight sections' length, with the first serpentine bend playing a significant role. Future design improvements should focus on incorporating as many elbows as possible in the device to maximize mixing efficiency and reduce the device size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-317
Number of pages15
JournalChemical Engineering Research and Design
Volume167
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

Keywords

  • Computational Fluid Dynamics or CFD
  • Microfluidics
  • Mixing
  • Serpentine channel
  • Simulation
  • Xurography

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