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Microfluid Nanofluid (2012) 12:499–508 DOI 10.1007/s10404-011-0891-5


Hydrodynamic cavitation in micro channels with channel sizes of 100 and 750 micrometers

Joost Rooze • Matthieu Andre ́ • Gert-Jan S. van der Gulik • David Ferna ́ndez-Rivas • Johannes G. E. Gardeniers • Evgeny V. Rebrov • Jaap C. Schouten •

Jos T. F. Keurentjes

Received: 18 May 2011 / Accepted: 22 July 2011 / Published online: 26 October 2011 Ó The Author(s) 2011. This article is published with open access at

Abstract Decreasing the constriction size and residence time in hydrodynamic cavitation is predicted to give increased hot spot temperatures at bubble collapse and increased radical formation rate. Cavitation in a 100 9 100 lm2 rectangular micro channel and in a cir- cular 750 lm diameter milli channel has been investigated with computational fluid dynamics software and with imaging and radical production experiments. No radical production has been measured in the micro channel. This is probably because there is no spherically symmetrical col- lapse of the gas pockets in the channel which yield high hot spot temperatures. The potassium iodide oxidation yield in the presence of chlorohydrocarbons in the milli channel of up to 60 nM min-1 is comparable to values reported on hydrodynamic cavitation in literature, but lower than

J. Rooze J. C. Schouten (&) J. T. F. Keurentjes Laboratory of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, PO Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands


M. Andre ́ G.-J. S. van der Gulik

Bunova Development BV, PO Box 1072, 8001 BB Zwolle, The Netherlands

Present Address:

M. Andre ́

Thermo Fluids Lab, George Washington University, 801 22nd street NW, Washington, DC 20052, USA

D. Ferna ́ndez-Rivas J. G. E. Gardeniers

Mesoscale Chemical Systems Group, MESA? Research Institute, University of Twente, PO Box 217,

7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands

E. V. Rebrov

School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT9 5AG, UK

values for ultrasonic cavitation. These small constrictions can create high apparent cavitation collapse frequencies.

Keywords Hydrodynamic cavitation Microfluidics Chlorohydrocarbons Radicals CFD

1 Introduction

Cavitation is the growth and collapse of a gas bubble in a liquid (Leighton 1994). The characteristic collapse time is much shorter than the characteristic time for heat transfer. High temperatures and pressures are therefore reached inside the bubble due to compression (Didenko and Suslick 2002; Rae et al. 2005). Estimations for the temperature and pressure during a collapse in ultrasound are generally around several 1,000 K (McNamara et al. 1999; Hilgenfeldt et al. 1999) and several hundred bar (Kamath et al. 1993). Applications of cavitation are e.g. making surface modifi- cations (Suslick and Price 1999), creating radical species (Mason 1990), or mixing liquids (Marmottant et al. 2006). The energy of the collapse is dissipated after the event, and the average liquid temperature stays at ambient values. Common ways to create cavitation are with ultrasound, in a hydrodynamic flow field, and with a focussed laser burst. The pressure in a flow field decreases between a point before a constriction (1) and inside a constriction (2), and is described by Bernoulli’s equation:

p p1⁄41q v2 v2 ð1Þ 12221

where p is the pressure, q is the liquid density, and v is the liquid velocity. A cavitation bubble is generated when the pressure decreases to a sufficiently low value to generate growth of an existing gas pocket in the liquid.

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