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Multiphase Science and Technology
SJR: 0.183 SNIP: 0.483 CiteScore™: 0.5

ISSN Print: 0276-1459
ISSN Online: 1943-6181

Multiphase Science and Technology

DOI: 10.1615/MultScienTechn.v12.i1.20
66 pages

PHASE INVERSION AND ASSOCIATED PHENOMENA

Leslie Y. Yeo
Department of Chemical Engineering & Chemical Technology, Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BY, UK
Omar K. Matar
Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2AZf
E. Susanna Perez de Ortiz
Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemical Technology Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine Prince Consort Road London SW7 2BY United Kingdom.
Geoffrey F. Hewitt
Department of Chemical Engineering & Chemical Technology Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2B Y, England

ABSTRACT

Phase inversion in liquid-liquid dispersions is a common phenomenon that occurs in a range of industrial processes. However, the mechanisms responsible for phase inversion and the effect of the physical and geometrical parameters on this phenomenon are not well understood.
In this paper, the significant developments over the past forty years of phase inversion research are critically reviewed. While the majority of phase inversion studies have largely concentrated on agitated vessel systems, the paper also includes a summary of phase inversion research in pipeflow and in contacting equipment.
The main mechanisms of drop coalescence and break-up, which directly influence phase inversion, are discussed in detail. Emphasis is placed on the postulation that the formation of secondary dispersions acts as a mechanism for the enhancement of drop coalescence and hence phase inversion. Particular attention is therefore paid to the existence of these secondary dispersions as well as the mechanisms by which they are formed and destroyed.
The paper also provides a comprehensive review of studies investigating the effect of various physical, geometrical and flow parameters on phase inversion. When conflicting views occur, a critical discussion on each view is presented and, where possible, conclusions are drawn. Crucial areas of future research arising from the ambiguities of previous findings are also identified.


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