Droplet Demulsification Using Ultralow Voltage-Based Electrocoalescence
Demulsification of droplets stabilized with surfactant is very challenging due to their low surface energy. We report ultralow voltage-based electrocoalescence phenomenon for the demulsification of aqueous droplets with an aqueous stream. In the absence of electric field, due to the disjoining pressure resulting from the tail–tail interaction between the surfactant molecules present on the aqueous droplets and interface, coalescence of aqueous droplets with the aqueous stream is prevented. However, above a critical electric field, the electrical stress overcomes the disjoining pressure, thus leading to the droplet coalescence. The influence of surfactant concentration, droplet diameter, and velocity on the electrocoalescence phenomena is studied. The macroscopic contact between the aqueous droplet with the aqueous stream enables droplet coalescence at much lower voltage (10 to 90 V), which is at least two orders of magnitude smaller than voltages used in prior works (1.0 to 3.0 kV). The electrocoalescence...
A. Srivastava; S. Karthick; K. S. Jayaprakash; A. K. Sen
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