Liquid Aerosol Deposition, Coalescence and Transport in Industrial and Physiological Systems

The project sought to further develop and validate our novel hybrid droplet/particle tracking CFD technique, and use it to explore filtration processes in coalescing media. Here we continued to develop methodologies and application-specific models for predicting/optimizing the performance of liquid-air and liquid-liquid filters for industrial, environmental and physiological applications.

Principal investigator

Ryan Mead-Hunter
Magnifying glass

Area of science

Engineering, Health, Health/Engineering, Medical And Health Sciences

Systems used


Applications used

OpenFOAM, OpenLB
Partner Institution: Curtin University| Project Code: awsey0187

The Challenge

Currently there is limited understanding of the liquid capture and transport within coalescing filters. Understanding this behaviour is critical to improving filter design and optimising filter performance. In this work we consider a range of traditional (fibrous and knitted) and emerging (foam) media, exploring the relationships between packing density, pressure drop and saturation. We also take a mirco-scale approach an consider the influence of contact angle hysteresis on droplet capture by fibres, which is currently not considered in models of filter behaviour but is likely important in describing how liquid droplets may be captured (or not) on filter fibres

The Solution

Through simulations conducted on Pawsey facilities we have continued to advance our research. In the last year we have identified local optima in the performance of coalescing filters, which will be important in the design and optimisation of future foam, knitted and fibrous filters used in the treatment of liquid aerosols (oil-mists). We have also uncovered new knowledge on droplet capture mechanisms on fibres, specifically to role of advancing and receding contact angles in the caputre and retention of liquid droplets on fibres. This new knowledge is missing from existing models of filter behaviour and may help explain why such models do not accurately capture all components of filter behaviour.

The Outcome

Given the scale and complexity if some of our simulations it would no be possible to complete our work without such a system. The ability to run large simulations in parallel is integral to our workflows.

List of Publications

1 ) Abishek, S., Mead-Hunter, R., King, A. J. C. & Mullins, B. J. (2019) Capture and re-entrainment of microdroplets on fibers, Physical Review E, 100, 042803.
2) Golkarfard, V., King, A. J. C., Abisjek, S., Mead-Hunter, R., Kapser, G. & Mullins, B. J. (2019) Optimisation of wet pressure drop in nonwoven fibrous, knitted, and open-cell foam filters, Separation and Purification Technology, 213, 45-55.
3) Chang, P., Xu, G., Zhou, F., Mullins, B., Abishek, S. (2019) Comparison of underground mine DPM simulation using discrete phase and continuous phase models, Process Safety and Environmental Protection
127, pp. 45-55

CFD-PNM.png Comparison of pressure drop and saturation in a fibrous filters using a pore-network model and computational fluid dynamics