CAREER: Oscillating Flows as a Novel Mechanical Separation Method for Macroscale and Microscale Applications Grant uri icon



  • Abstract

    Proposal Number CTS-0643023
    Principal Investigator: Aaron M. Thomas
    University/Institution: University of Idaho

    CAREER: Oscillating Flows as a Novel Mechanical Separation Method
    for Macroscale and Microscale Applications

    Oscillating or pulsatile flows can be used as a novel mechanical separation and transport mechanism for species in the gas and liquid phase. Oscillating flows are unique in that the separation is dictated by the difference in the molecular diffusion of a gas or
    liquid species. A primary goal is to explore and elucidate a novel mechanical method for the separation of species in gas and liquid systems using oscillating flows at both the
    macro and micro scales. This research will involve 1) prediction of species movement at
    different time and length scales using theoretical models, and 2) experiments to validate and correct these models. The first key objective is to perform theoretical and experimental research on the macroscale. Specifically, unique geometrical configurations such as tubes with wavy walled boundaries will be analyzed to determine the effect of geometry on the flow profiles and thus the separation and mass transfer of species in mixtures. Ultimately, a system having a large separation with a high throughput is needed. The second key objective is to carry out research on the microscale with simple liquid systems in microchannels to fully understand the effect of AC fields on fluid movement and species transport. More complex biological separations such as DNA and proteins will be studied. The PI's educational goal is to train students at all levels graduate, undergraduate, and K-12 to think critically, communicate effectively, and solve problems. At the university level, new laboratory experiments will be developed and integrated into the curriculum. These classes will encourage undergraduate students to continue their education with a graduate degree. Within the community, the PI will strive to encourage K-12 students, especially Native American students, to enter the sciences. To accomplish this, he will perform demonstrations at local schools and on the local Nez Perce and Coeur d'Alene reservations. Further, the PI has plans to help Native American students make the transition to college life so that improve their college retention and to help them obtain advanced degrees.

date/time interval

  • July 1, 2007 - June 30, 2013

total award amount

  • 414,244