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Research Papers

Dynamic Simulations of Alumina Membrane Fouling From Recycling of Semisynthetic Metalworking Fluids

[+] Author and Article Information
John E. Wentz, Shiv G. Kapoor, Richard E. DeVor

Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801

N. Rajagopalan

Illinois Waste Management and Research Center, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Champaign, IL 61820

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 130(6), 061015 (Nov 19, 2008) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2976149 History: Received April 22, 2008; Revised July 08, 2008; Published November 19, 2008

The recycling of semisynthetic metalworking fluids (MWFs) using alumina membranes is significantly impacted by aggregated MWF microemulsions that cause partial and complete blocking of membrane pores. In this paper, computational fluid dynamic methods are employed to model both a portion of a sintered alumina membrane with tortuous pores and the microemulsions passing through it. Several particle size distributions, measured experimentally at various times through the membrane service life and under two different cross-flow velocities, were used to determine the particle sizes simulated in the flow. Simulated MWF particles smaller than the largest pore diameter were found to completely block the pore through the build-up of a network of particles that blocked smaller diameter inlets and outlets. The results demonstrate as well that significant membrane flux reduction can occur by partial blocking of pore inlets and outlets even in the absence of complete blocking.

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Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 2

Particle size distribution at 2000 min for 6.0 m/s cross-flow velocity

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Figure 3

α-alumina membrane surface

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Figure 1

Possible actions of a particle at a pore

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Figure 7

Model particle creation

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Figure 4

Cross section view of α-alumina membrane surface showing the modeled area

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Figure 5

Meshed pore model based on Fig. 4

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Figure 6

SEM image of aggregates on the membrane surface

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Figure 8

Model particle shapes

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Figure 9

Flow through the pore area

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Figure 10

Particle track through Outlet 2

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Figure 11

(a) 1000 min high shear simulation after Particle No. 7; (b) 1000 min high shear simulation after Particle No. 8; (c) 1000 min high shear simulation after Particle No. 13; (d) 1000 min high shear simulation after Particle No. 15; (e) 1000 min high shear simulation after Particle No. 19; (f) 1000 min high shear simulation after Particle No. 20; (g) 1000 min high shear simulation after Particle No. 21; (h) 1000 min high shear simulation after Particle No. 24

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Figure 12

(a) 2000 min high shear simulation after Particle No. 2; (b) 2000 min high shear simulation after Particle No. 9; (c) 2000 min high shear simulation after Particle No. 11; (d) 2000 min high shear simulation after Particle No. 13; (e) 2000 min high shear simulation after Particle No. 16; (f) 2000 min high shear simulation after Particle no. 9 (released and restuck); (g) 2000 min, high shear simulation after Particle No. 19; (h) 2000 min high shear simulation after Particle No. 21; (i) 2000 min high shear simulation after Particle No. 22; (j) 2000 min high shear simulation after Particle No. 23; (k) 2000 min high shear simulation after Particle No. 24

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Figure 13

(a) 2000 min low shear simulation after Particle No. 1; (b) 2000 min low shear simulation after Particle No. 5; (c) 2000 min low shear simulation after Particle No. 14; (d) 2000 min low shear simulation after Particle No. 31; (e) 2000 min, low shear simulation after Particle No. 35; (f) 2000 min low shear simulation after Particle No. 36

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Figure 14

Mass flow rate through the pore area

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