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Characterization of the Hydrodynamics and Mixing Performance of a Split-and-Recombination (SAR) Prototype Microreactor and a Multilamination Commercial Microreactor

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journal contribution
posted on 18.01.2012 by Lionel S. Méndez-Portillo, Louis Fradette, Charles Dubois, Philippe A. Tanguy
The aim of this work was to quantify the performance of two well-known mixing mechanisms used in microreactors: the split-and-recombination (SAR) and the multilamination by means of an interdigital structure. The residence time distribution (RTD) and the mixing performance in laminar flow regime were experimentally characterized by the tracer pulse-input technique and the iodide-iodate Villermaux/Dushman method. RTD analysis indicates bypassing caused by uneven flow distribution in the manifolds of both microreactors. A decrease of the quadratic dependence of axial dispersion on fluid velocity is produced by the improved tracer homogenization achieved in the microfluidic structures. The iodide-iodate method shows that below a critical Damköhler number the microreactors exhibit a superior mixing performance than a conventional T-junction. The interdigital microreactor displayed the best mixing capabilities for all the flow conditions investigated. However, the estimation of energy dissipation confirms that the improved mixing performance of the interdigital unit is obtained at the expense of greater energy expenditure when compared with the split-and-recombination microreactor.