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Multidimensional fractionation of ultrafine particles in microsystems

Funded by: DFG

Contact person : Maike Wullenweber

Summary of the overall project:

This project is part of the DFG priority program “MehrDimPart” and is handled in cooperation with the Institute of Microtechnology (IMT). In the industrial production of active pharmaceutical ingredients, ceramics and particle-loaded inks, the demands on particle properties are constantly increasing. Furthermore, particles in the size range below 10 µm with defined properties are required. However, the multi-dimensional fractionation of technical suspensions with particles in this size range cannot be satisfactorily achieved with current separation methods. Therefore, combined passive and active microsystems for multidimensional fractionation are to be developed and investigated in this project. As passive principle of action the Deterministic Lateral Displacement Method (DLD) is used, in which the flow is split by slightly displaced post arrays and the particles are separated based on their size. These microelements will be subsequently extended by a further fractionation dimension by using additional electric fields for separation. The active microelements shall be combined sequentially or integratively with the passive microelements. By superimposing electric fields on the DLD, a separation based on size and charge or permittivity shall be achieved by means of (di-)electrophoretic forces. The key to understanding the separation are intensive µPIV investigations and coupled CFD-DEM simulations. The overall goal is the specific design of the structures with regard to technical suspensions with high solid content and high throughput. Based on the experimental and simulative results as well as the deepened understanding of the active principles, appropriate design models and guidelines for the technical use of these microsystems are to be developed.

Goals and tasks of iPAT

  • Design and characterization of the (combined) passive/active microsystems
  • Coupled CFD-DEM simulations of the fractionation behavior of microelements for suspensions with spherical and non-spherical particles and different solid concentrations
  • Development of improved microstructures in terms of separation performance, throughput and solids concentration
  • Process engineering study and evaluation of microsystems with technical particle suspensions
    Project partners:Institute of Microtechnology, TU Braunschweig

    Figure 1: CFD-DEM simulation of a DLD microsystem at Re=50 with vortex formation (left), CFD-DEM simulation of a DLD microsystem with larger particle numbers (right)

    Team Members

    Current Projects

    Comprehensive understanding of multi-component compaction more

    Investigation and modeling of mechanical and surface-induced stress of pelleted filamentous microorganisms more

    Identification and quantification of influencing material parameters during the compaction process of hard food products more

    Micromechanical Properties of Filamentous Fungi more

    Untersuchung der zellmechanischen Eigenschaften einzelner Mikroorganismen more

    Finished Projects

    T-MAPPP – Simulation of breakage and abrasion of granules and tablets more

    Behavior of UV-absorbing metal oxide nanoparticles in porous media and their influence on soil bacteria more

    Biofilm Mechanics more

    Einfluss der Zellaufschlussmethode auf die Expanded Bed Chromatographie mehr