Taylor-Couette flow with radial fluid injection

Nikolas Wilkinson, Cari S. Dutcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Taylor-Couette cells have been shown to improve a number of industrial processes due to the wide variety of hydrodynamic flow states accessible. Traditional designs, however, limit the ability to introduce new fluids into the annulus during device operation due to geometric confinement and complexity. In this paper, a co- and counter-rotating Taylor-Couette cell with radial fluid injection has been constructed. The incorporation of 16 ports in the inner cylinder enables radial fluid injection during rotation of both cylinders. The design is also capable of continuous axial flow, enabling large injection volumes. The new inner cylinder design does not modify the critical Re for flow instabilities and can precisely inject a desired mass at a desired flow rate. A range of injection rates and masses were explored to quantify the effect of radial injection on the stability of the turbulent Taylor vortex structure. Only the highest injection rate and total mass studied (5.9 g/s, 100 g) modified the turbulent Taylor vortex structure after injection for a sustained period. The post-injection vortices remained larger than the pre-injection vortices, whereas at lower injection rates or masses, the vortex structure quickly returned to the pre-injection structure. This new system allows for in situ study of hydrodynamic effects on fluid-fluid (gas and liquid) mixing and multiphase complexation, growth, and structure. We demonstrated this new design's potential for studying the flocculation of bentonite using cationic polyacrylamide for enhancing water treatment operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number083904
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported primarily by the National Science Foundation through the University of Minnesota MRSEC under Award No. DMR-1420013. This research was conducted with Government support under and awarded by Department of Defense, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship, 32 CFR 168a.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Author(s).

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

How much support was provided by MRSEC?

  • Primary

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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