A lattice boltzmann approach to surfactant-laden emulsions

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Abstract

We present a pseudopotential lattice Boltzmann method to simulate liquid–liquid emulsions with a slightly soluble surfactant. The model is investigated in 2-D, over a wide parameter space for a single, stationary, immiscible droplet, and surface tension reduction by up to 15% is described in terms of a surfactant strength Λ (which roughly follows a Langmuir isotherm). The basic surfactant model is shown to be insufficient for arresting phase segregation—which is then achieved by changing the liquid–liquid interaction strength locally as a function of the surfactant density. 3-D spinodal decomposition (phase separation) is simulated, where the surfactant is seen to adapt rapidly to the evolving interfaces. Finally, for pendent droplet formation in an immiscible liquid, the addition of surfactant is shown to alter the droplet-size distribution and dynamics of newly formed droplets.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalAIChE Journal
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • emulsions
  • lattice Boltzmann
  • multiphase flow
  • pseudopotential
  • surfactants

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