Droplet behavior in a Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube

R. Liew, W.R. Michalek, J.C.H. Zeegers, J.G.M. Kuerten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


The vortex tube is an apparatus by which compressed gas is separated into cold and warm streams. Although the apparatus is mostly used for cooling, the possibility to use the vortex tube as a device for removing non-desired condensable components from gas mixtures is investigated. To give first insight on how droplets behave in the vortex tube, a MATLAB model is written. The model tracks Lagrangian droplets in time and space according to the forces acting on the droplets. Phase interactions, i.e. evaporation or condensation, are modeled according to the kinetic approach for phase interactions. Liquid (water) concentrations are shown for two cases where the humidity at the inlet of the vortex tube is varied from 0% to 50%. It is clearly observed from the results that the concentration of liquid increases with increasing humidity. The higher this concentration is, the higher the probability that droplets collide with each other and form larger droplets which are swirled towards the wall to form an easy-to-separate liquid film.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th European Turbulence Conference (ETC13), 12-15 September 2011, Warsaw, Polen
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameJournal of Physics: Conference Series
ISSN (Print)1742-6588


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