Importance of surface forces in a micro-fluidized bed

Mark J. Biggs, V. Zivkovic, Z. Alwahabi, M. Navvab Kashani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Fluidized beds (FBs) potentially offer a means of significantly enhancing heat and mass transfer under the low Reynolds number flows that prevail in microfluidic devices. However, as surface forces start to dominate over gravity at the microscale, adhesion of particles to the walls of the micro-FB can prevent fluidization. We used the acid-base theory of van Oss, Chaudhury and Good to understand adhesion forces at the particlewall interface in a micro-FB. This approach, novel to the fluidization field, successfully predicts the adhesion problem in a micro-FB system as verified by our experimental results for liquid fluidization in a typical PDMS microfluidics channel. This demonstrates the importance of considering surface forces in the design of micro-FB, unlike for traditional large FBs where surface forces are often less of an issue.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChemeca 2012: Quality of life through chemical engineering : 23-26 September 2012, Wellington, New Zealand
Place of PublicationBarton, A.C.T
PublisherEngineers Australia
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781922107596
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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