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Drop coalescence in technical liquid/liquid applications

a review on experimental techniques and modeling approaches

Kamp, Johannes; Villwock, Jörn; Kraume, Matthias

The coalescence phenomenon of drops in liquid/liquid systems is reviewed with particular focus on its technical relevance and application. Due to the complexity of coalescence, a comprehensive survey of the coalescence process and the numerous influencing factors is given. Subsequently, available experimental techniques with different levels of detail are summarized and compared. These techniques can be divided in simple settling tests for qualitative coalescence behavior investigations and gravity settler design, single-drop coalescence studies at flat interfaces as well as between droplets, and detailed film drainage analysis. To model the coalescence rate in liquid/liquid systems on a technical scale, the generic population balance framework is introduced. Additionally, different coalescence modeling approaches are reviewed with ascending level of detail from empirical correlations to comprehensive film drainage models and detailed computational fluid and particle dynamics.
Published in: Reviews in Chemical Engineering, 10.1515/revce-2015-0071, De Gruyter