DROPPS at 2015 GoMRI Conference


Recent Publications

Holographic microscopy and microfluidics platform for measuring wall stress and 3D flow over surfaces textured by micro-pillars

Evans HB, Gorumlu S, Aksak B, Castillo L, Sheng J. . Scientific Reports 6 [Internet]. 2016;6(28753).
Understanding how fluid flow interacts with micro-textured surfaces is crucial for a broad range of key biological processes and engineering applications including particle dispersion, pathogenic infections, and drag manipulation by surface topology. We use high-speed digital holographic microscopy (DHM) in combination with a correlation based de-noising algorithm to overcome the optical interference generated by surface roughness and to capture a large number of 3D particle trajectories in a microfluidic channel with one surface patterned with micropillars. It allows us to obtain a 3D ensembled velocity field with an uncertainty of 0.06% and 2D wall shear stress distribution at the resolution of ~65 μPa. Contrary to laminar flow in most microfluidics, we find that the flow is three-dimensional and complex for the textured microchannel. While the micropillars affect the velocity flow field locally, their presence is felt globally in terms of wall shear stresses at the channel walls. These findings imply that micro-scale mixing and wall stress sensing/manipulation can be achieved through hydro-dynamically smooth but topologically rough micropillars.

The tarballs on Texas beaches following the 2014 Texas City “Y” Spill: Modeling, chemical, and microbiological studies.

Bacosa HP, Thyng KM, Plunkett S, Erdner DL, Liu Z.

The tarballs on Texas beaches following the 2014 Texas City “Y” Spill: Modeling, chemical, and microbiological studies.

Marine Pollution Bulletin [Internet]. 2016;109(1):236-244. Publisher's VersionAbstract
We modeled the transport of oil, source-fingerprinted 44 tarball samples from Galveston Island (GV) and Mustang Island (MT), and determined the hydrocarbon and bacterial community composition of these tarballs following the 2014 Texas City “Y” Oil Spill (TCY). Transport modeling indicated that the tarballs arrived in MT before the samples were collected. Source-fingerprinting confirmed that the tarballs collected from GV and MT, 6 d and 11 d after the TCY, respectively, originated from the spill. Tarballs from GV showed 21% depletion of alkanes, mainly C9–C17, and 55% depletion of PAHs mainly naphthalenes, and dominated by alkane-degrading Alcanivorax and Psychrobacter. Samples from MT were depleted of 24% alkanes and 63% PAHs, and contained mainly of PAH-degrading Pseudoalteromonas. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to relate oil transport, tarball source-fingerprinting, chemistry, and microbiology, which provides insights on the fate of oil in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Crude oil jets in crossflow: Effects of dispersant concentration on plume behavior.

Murphy DW, Xue X, Sampath K, Katz J. Crude oil jets in crossflow: Effects of dispersant concentration on plume behavior. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans [Internet]. 2016;121. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This study investigates the effects of premixing oil with chemical dispersant at varying concentrations on the flow structure and droplet dynamics within a crude oil jet transitioning into a plume in a crossflow. It is motivated by the need to determine the fate of subsurface oil after a well blowout. The laboratory experiments consist of flow visualizations, in situ measurements of the time evolution of droplet-size distributions using holography, and particle image velocimetry to characterize dominant flow features. Increasing the dispersant concentration dramatically decreases the droplet sizes and increases their number, and accordingly, reduces the rise rates of droplets and the upper boundary of the plume. The flow within the plume consists primarily of a pair of counterrotating quasi-streamwise vortices (CVP) that characterize jets in crossflows. It also involves generation of vertical wake vortices that entrain small droplets under the plume. The evolution of plume boundaries is dominated by interactions of droplets with the CVP. The combined effects of vortex-induced velocity and significant quiescent rise velocity of large (∼5 mm) droplets closely agree with the rise rate of the upper boundary of the crude oil plume. Conversely, the much lower rise velocity of the smaller droplets in oil-dispersant mixtures results in plume boundaries rising at rates that are very similar to those of the CVP center. The size of droplets trapped by the CVP is predicted correctly using a trapping function, which is based on a balance of forces on a droplet located within a horizontal eddy.

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