student profile: Mr Zhongzheng Wang


Thesis work

Thesis title: Capillary Effects on Fluid Transport: Porous Media and Patterned Surfaces

Supervisors: Yixiang GAN , Kapil CHAUHAN

Thesis abstract:

When the length scale becomes small enough, capillary force can become significant comparing to other forces such as viscous force and gravity, which influences the transport phenomena of fluids.

In porous media, disordered packing of grains leads to uneven distribution of capillary pressures, modifying the displacement patterns of fluids from the stable regime towards capillary fingering. This may have great impacts on many engineering fields including enhanced oil recovery, CO2 storage, control of contamination, the design of fuel cells, etc.

On carefully designed patterned surfaces by creating wettability/structural gradient, capillary pressure can be utilized as the actuation force to drive droplet, achieving spontaneous directional movement, overcoming the viscous force, gravity, and hysteresis. This technique has been applied to improve the efficiency of fog harvesting, spontaneous oil-water separation, and microfluidics.

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