The Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Eprints Archive

Modelling foam drainage

Breward, C. J. W. and Darton, R. C. and Howell, P. D. and Ockendon, J. R. (1997) Modelling foam drainage. I Chem E Symposium Series, 142 (2). pp. 1009-1019.



Foaming occurs in many distillation and absorption processes. In this paper, two basic building blocks that are needed to model foam drainage and hence foam stability are discussed. The first concerns the flow of liquid from the lamellae to the Plateau borders and the second describes the drainage flows that occur within the borders. The mathematical modelling involves a balance between gravity, diffusion, viscous forces, and varying surface tension effects with or without the presence of monolayers of surfactant. In some cases, mass transfer through the gas-liquid interface also causes foam stabilisation, and must be included. Our model allows us to clarify which mechanisms are most likely to dominate in both the lamellae and Plateau borders and hence to determine their evolution. The model provides a theoretical framework for the prediction of foam drainage and collapse rates. The analysis shows that significant foam stability can arise from small surface tension variations.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:D - G > Fluid mechanics
Research Groups:Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
ID Code:122
Deposited By: Chris J.W. Breward
Deposited On:01 Sep 2004
Last Modified:29 May 2015 18:16

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