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14 december 2018

Approved FOM programme

Number 112.
Title Droplets in turbulent flow (DROP)
Executive organisational unit BUW
Programme management Prof.dr.ir. G.J.F. van Heijst
Duration 2009-2016
Cost estimate M€ 2.6

The programme focuses on the key fundamental issues of turbulent droplet dynamics. For example, on the smallest turbulent length scales, droplets are spun from vortices, collect in regions of strain, and, in turn, influence the turbulent flow itself. Droplets mutually interact, split and coalesce, and can undergo phase transitions such as evaporation and condensation. On macroscopic length scales, gravity-induced settling, mean shear and temperature gradients will influence the dynamics and size distribution of the droplets. The aim of the programme is a better quantitative and fundamental understanding of the dynamics of droplets in turbulent flows.

Background, relevance and implementation
Fundamental insight on how turbulent flows and phase transitions affect the droplet size distribution is of vital importance for enhancing the energy efficiency of internal combustion engines. Understanding turbulent droplet dynamics is also important for optimized produc­tion of natural gas and CO2 capturing. On larger scales, the dispersion and merging of droplets in turbulent atmospheric clouds is crucial for describing the influence of clouds on our climate. Other applications, involving droplets in liquids, can be found in the food industry (e.g., properties of dispersions and suspensions) and in biomedical applications. 

The programme is carried out by a number of 3TU fluid-dynamics groups. In recent years these groups have built up various new experimental techniques (such as 3D particle tracking velocimetry, 3D particle image velocimetry, Lagrangian tracking, hot-film anemometry) and computational tools (such as front-tracking, volume of fluid methods, spectral Euler- Lagrangian codes) in the context of the FOM programme 'Dispersed multiphase flow' and the FOM programme 'Turbulence and its role in energy conversion processes'. This experimental and computational expertise is now combined and further developed in this programme.

The final evaluation will be based on the self-evaluation report, which will be submitted by the programme management at the end of the programme, and is foreseen for 2016.

Please find a research highlight that was achieved in 2013 within this FOM programme here.