Investigating enhanced mass flow rates in pressure-driven liquid flows in nanotubes

Alexandros Stamatiou, Kokou Dadzie, M. H. Lakshminarayana Reddy

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5 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


Over the past two decades, several researchers have presented experimental data from pressure-driven liquid flows through nanotubes. They quote flow velocities which are four to five orders of magnitude higher than those predicted by the classical theory. Thus far, attempts to explain these enhanced mass flow rates at the nanoscale have focused mainly on introducing wall-slip boundary conditions on the fluid mass velocity. In this paper, we present a different theory. A change of variable on the velocity field within the classical Navier-Stokes equations is adopted to transform the equations into physically different equations. The resulting equations, termed re-casted Navier-Stokes equations, contain additional diffusion terms whose expressions depend upon the driving mechanism. The new equations are then solved for the pressure driven flow in a long nano-channel. Analogous to previous studies of gas flows in micro- and nano-channels, a perturbation expansion in the aspect ratio allows for the construction of a 2D analytical solution. In contrast to slip-flow models, this solution is specified by a no-slip boundary condition at the channel walls. The mass flow rate can be calculated explicitly and compared to available data. We conclude that the new re-casting methodology may provide an alternative theoretical physical explanation of the enhanced mass flow phenomena.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125012
JournalJournal of Physics Communications
Issue number12
Early online date6 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


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