New Engineering Concepts from Phase Transitions: A Leidenfrost Engine

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Engineering


The Leidenfrost effect was first named after Johann Gotlob Leidenfrost (1715-1794), who carefully described in his Treatise on the Properties of Common Water, published in 1756, how he used polished iron spoons "heated over glowing coals" and noticed that a drop of water falling into the glowing spoon "does not adhere to the spoon, as water is accustomed to do, when touching colder iron." (Quéré, Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech. 45, 2013). It is familiar to Physicists working with liquid nitrogen whose droplets can roll freely across a floor and to Engineers working on poor heat transfer from hot solids into liquids. The Leidenfrost effect is the instantaneous conversion of a layer of water to vapour upon contact with a solid surface that is substantially hotter than the liquid's boiling point. The vapour layer removes the liquid-solid contact usually observed for a droplet resting on a solid surface and imparts both a thermally insulating barrier and a virtually frictionless motion.

After centuries of curiosity and low intensity study, the Leidenfrost effect has burst into life becoming a rapidly growing field of research, initially, as a model of a perfectly (super) hydrophobic surface. Interest has grown as it has been realized that such surfaces may offer significant drag reduction, that surfaces may be micro-structured to create linear motion and that it is possible to modify surface materials/texture to reduce the transition temperatures. In addition, the scope of the Leidenfrost effect has been widened to include vapour layers created by sublimation so that solid-vapour phase transitions, as well as liquid-vapour phase transitions can be understood using similar ideas. Largely, this recent focus has remained on scientific understanding rather than engineering applications.

In 2015 we published a proof-of-concept in Nature Communications (vol. 6, 2015) - a Leidenfrost Engine - which was both a mechanical engine achieving rotation and the first ever demonstration of a sublimation-based heat engine. This was based on the idea of hot turbine-like substrates allowing vapour to be created and directed, such that rotational motion of discs of dry ice, droplets of water and solid discs-coupled by surface tension to rotating droplets of water was achieved. Once rotation had been achieved, we demonstrated that a small voltage could be generated.

This proposal explores the new concept of a Leidenfrost Engine based on substrates with turbine shaped surface patterns, and will use two types of phase changes: i) thin film boiling (liquid-vapour phase transition), and ii) carbon dioxide sublimation (solid-vapour phase transition). We aim to investigate i) a range of surface texture designs to create effective Leidenfrost turbine surfaces, ii) the use of liquids and solids as "fuels" and "working substances" and iii) designs for batch and continuous mode operation. We aim to investigate both small-scale designs, for use where there is high surface area to volume ratio and friction is a dominant concern, and at larger scales, where gravity is a concern and thus levitation by the vapour is energetically costly. We will therefore integrate controlled-levitation configuration (CLC) designs at small scales and fixed-bearing configuration (FBC) designs at larger scales into engine prototypes. By doing so, we expect this project to establish clear design principles for heat engines based on thin-film boiling and sublimation, thereby translating recent scientific advances into engineering possibilities.
Description A design for macroscale Leidenfrost Engine was developped. The prototype for the Leidenfrost engines has been constructed. Limitation of various techniques for heating, electrical generation,..ect are identified. Future implementation of such prototype will be explored.
A prototype of the microscale Leidenfrost Engine has been developped and tested. The efficiency of te microscale engine and its dependence of applied heat and feeding rates were quantified. IR imagimg was used to map local variations in temperature during operation.
A new mechanism which is more efficient than the sole Leidenfrost effect was discovered. The combination of nucleate boiling for driving rotation and Leidenfrost for Leivtation yields much higher perfromance than Leindefrost alone.
Data on the performance of the microscale Leidenfrost Engine has been gathered. The data from testing the microscale Leidenfrost engine is submitted for publication.
Exploitation Route To produced a fully operational Leidenfrost Engine, the limitations and technical challenges identified in our experiments can be very helpful.
Partneship with industrial players could be the next step to test and develop further this concept.
Our involvement in an international network funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) will be explored to take these finding further in the aerospace sector.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy

Description The work has attracted worldiwde interest from the scientific and technologists. The investigators presented this work around the globe in international conferences and industrial meetings. We are part of new research network funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) in which we hope to promote this concept.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy
Description Enhanced Multiscale Boiling Surfaces (EMBOSS): From Fundamentals to Design
Amount £536,300 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/S019588/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2019 
End 07/2022
Description Coolboration with teh International Centre for Carbon Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER) at Kyushu University, Japan 
Organisation Kyushu University
Country Japan 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The collaboration started in 2015 when Profesor K. Sefiane was awarded a Progress100 grant by Kyushu University to support collaboration between the two Universities. The initial grant was for 18 months. Professor Sefiane has been succesful in renewing this grant in 2018 for another 3 years.#The funding provided support to appoint a research assistant at Kyushu University and pay for travel expenses between Edinburgh and Kyushu for staff from the two groups.
Collaborator Contribution Two research awards: 2015-2016 2018-2021 The total amounts of these two awards was about 100,000 £.
Impact J Chen, YH; Askounis, A; Koutsos, V; Valluri, P; Takata, Y; Wilson, SK; Sefiane, K Chen, Yuhong; Askounis, Alexandros; Koutsos, Vasileios; Valluri, Prashant; Takata, Yasuyuki; Wilson, Stephen K.; Sefiane, Khellil On the Effect of Substrate Viscoelasticity on the Evaporation Kinetics and Deposition Patterns of Nanosuspension Drops LANGMUIR 0743-7463 JAN 14 2020 36 1 204 213 10.1021/acs.langmuir.9b02965 WOS:000507721200022 31860312 J Zhang, HC; Kita, Y; Zhang, DJ; Nagayama, G; Takata, Y; Sefiane, K; Askounis, A Zhang, Huacheng; Kita, Yutaku; Zhang, Dejian; Nagayama, Gyoko; Takata, Yasuyuki; Sefiane, Khellil; Askounis, Alexandros Drop Evaporation on Rough Hot-Spots: Effect of Wetting Modes HEAT TRANSFER ENGINEERING Kita, Yutaku/AAC-5533-2020; Askounis, Alexandros/O-9585-2014 Kita, Yutaku/0000-0003-4994-4689; Askounis, Alexandros/0000-0003-0813-7856; , nagayamakit/0000-0002-6836-9387 0145-7632 1521-0537 10.1080/01457632.2019.1640458 AUG 2019 WOS:000480615200001 J Wang, ZY; Orejon, D; Sefiane, K; Takata, Y Wang, Zhenying; Orejon, Daniel; Sefiane, Khellil; Takata, Yasuyuki Coupled thermal transport and mass diffusion during vapor absorption into hygroscopic liquid desiccant droplets INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEAT AND MASS TRANSFER Orejon, Daniel/G-4468-2013 Orejon, Daniel/0000-0003-1037-5036; Wang, Zhenying/0000-0002-2651-1808 0017-9310 1879-2189 MAY 2019 134 1014 1023 10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2019.01.084 WOS:000462418300086 J Wang, ZY; Orejon, D; Sefiane, K; Takata, Y Wang, Zhenying; Orejon, Daniel; Sefiane, Khellil; Takata, Yasuyuki Water vapor uptake into hygroscopic lithium bromide desiccant droplets: mechanisms of droplet growth and spreading PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS Orejon, Daniel/G-4468-2013 Orejon, Daniel/0000-0003-1037-5036; Wang, Zhenying/0000-0002-2651-1808 1463-9076 1463-9084 JAN 21 2019 21 3 10.1039/c8cp04504f WOS:000456147000073 30320327 J Kita, Y; Dover, CM; Askounis, A; Takata, Y; Sefiane, K Kita, Yutaku; Dover, Coinneach Mackenzie; Askounis, Alexandros; Takata, Yasuyuki; Sefiane, Khellil Drop mobility on superhydrophobic microstructured surfaces with wettability contrasts SOFT MATTER Askounis, Alexandros/O-9585-2014; Kita, Yutaku/AAC-5533-2020 Askounis, Alexandros/0000-0003-0813-7856; Kita, Yutaku/0000-0003-4994-4689 1744-683X 1744-6848 DEC 14 2018 14 46 9418 9424 10.1039/c8sm01762j WOS:000451843300013 30427033 J Kita, Y; Okauchi, Y; Fukatani, Y; Orejon, D; Kohno, M; Takata, Y; Sefiane, K Kita, Yutaku; Okauchi, Yuya; Fukatani, Yuki; Orejon, Daniel; Kohno, Masamichi; Takata, Yasuyuki; Sefiane, Khellil Quantifying vapor transfer into evaporating ethanol drops in a humid atmosphere PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS Kita, Yutaku/AAC-5533-2020; Orejon, Daniel/G-4468-2013 Kita, Yutaku/0000-0003-4994-4689; Orejon, Daniel/0000-0003-1037-5036 1463-9076 1463-9084 AUG 7 2018 20 29 19430 19440 10.1039/c8cp02521e WOS:000448132600017 29993049 J Tomo, Y; Askounis, A; Ikuta, T; Takata, Y; Sefiane, K; Takahashi, K Tomo, Yoko; Askounis, Alexandros; Ikuta, Tatsuya; Takata, Yasuyuki; Sefiane, Khellil; Takahashi, Koji Superstable Ultrathin Water Film Confined in a Hydrophilized Carbon Nanotube NANO LETTERS Askounis, Alexandros/O-9585-2014 Askounis, Alexandros/0000-0003-0813-7856; Tomo, Yoko/0000-0001-6002-1506 1530-6984 1530-6992 MAR 2018 18 3 1869 1874 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b05169 WOS:000427910600043 29424547 J Barletta, A; Bejan, A; Briggs, A; Cavallini, A; Cotta, R; Garimella, S; Glicksman, L; Hewitt, G; Karayiannis, T; Manglik, R; Minkowycz, WJ; Sefiane, K; Takata, Y; Thome, J; Utaka, Y; Wang, HS; Yoshida, H Barletta, Antonio; Bejan, Adrian; Briggs, Adrian; Cavallini, Alberto; Cotta, Renato; Garimella, Srinivas; Glicksman, Leon; Hewitt, Geoffrey; Karayiannis, Tassos; Manglik, Raj; Minkowycz, W. J.; Sefiane, Khellil; Takata, Yas; Thome, John; Utaka, Yoshio; Wang, Huasheng; Yoshida, Hideo Professor John W. Rose BScEng PhD DScEng(Lond) CEng FIMechE FASME on his 80th birthday In Celebration INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEAT AND MASS TRANSFER Barletta, Antonio/O-8888-2019; Cotta, Renato M/H-5336-2012; Bejan, Adrian/D-3909-2012; Utaka, Yoshio/Q-8596-2019 Cotta, Renato M/0000-0003-0965-0811; Bejan, Adrian/0000-0002-2419-2698; 0017-9310 1879-2189 SEP 2017 112 169 170 10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2017.04.038 WOS:000404198600016 J Askounis, A; Kita, Y; Kohno, M; Takata, Y; Koutsos, V; Sefiane, K Askounis, Alexandros; Kita, Yutaku; Kohno, Masamichi; Takata, Yasuyuki; Koutsos, Vasileios; Sefiane, Khellil Influence of Local Heating on Marangoni Flows and Evaporation Kinetics of Pure Water Drops LANGMUIR Kita, Yutaku/AAC-5533-2020; Askounis, Alexandros/O-9585-2014; Koutsos, Vasileios/B-9651-2008 Kita, Yutaku/0000-0003-4994-4689; Askounis, Alexandros/0000-0003-0813-7856; Koutsos, Vasileios/0000-0002-2203-8179 0743-7463 JUN 13 2017 33 23 5666 5674 10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b00957 WOS:000403530200008 28510453 J Yamada, Y; Askounis, A; Ikuta, T; Takahashi, K; Takata, Y; Sefiane, K Yamada, Yutaka; Askounis, Alexandros; Ikuta, Tatsuya; Takahashi, Koji; Takata, Yasuyuki; Sefiane, Khellil Thermal conductivity of liquid/carbon nanotube core-shell nanocomposites JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS Askounis, Alexandros/O-9585-2014 Askounis, Alexandros/0000-0003-0813-7856 0021-8979 1089-7550 JAN 7 2017 121 1 015104 10.1063/1.4973488 WOS:000392839400041
Start Year 2015
Description Two Phase Flow and Heat Transfer at the Microscale, University of Valenciennes, France 
Organisation University of Valenciennes and Hainaut-Cambresis
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This collaboration has led to University of Velenciennes contributing to fund half of a PhD studentship to work on this project.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners in Valenciennes funded partly a PhD student who did a joint PhD degree between Edinburgh and Valenciennes.
Impact Korniliou, S; Mackenzie-Dover, C; Harmand, S; Duursma, G; Christy, JRE; Terry, JG; Walton, AJ; Sefiane, K Korniliou, S.; Mackenzie-Dover, C.; Harmand, S.; Duursma, G.; Christy, J. R. E.; Terry, J. G.; Walton, A. J.; Sefiane, K. Local wall temperature mapping during flow boiling in a transparent microchannel INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCES 1290-0729 1778-4166 JAN 2019 135 344 361 10.1016/j.ijthermalsci.2018.09.028 WOS:000466262700028 J Parsa, M; Harmand, S; Sefiane, K Parsa, Maryam; Harmand, Souad; Sefiane, Khellil Mechanisms of pattern formation from dried sessile drops ADVANCES IN COLLOID AND INTERFACE SCIENCE Parsa, Maryam/E-4565-2015 Parsa, Maryam/0000-0001-6390-710X 0001-8686 1873-3727 APR 2018 254 22 47 10.1016/j.cis.2018.03.007 WOS:000432101400002 29628116 J Parsa, M; Harmand, S; Sefiane, K; Bigerelle, M; Deltombe, R Parsa, Maryam; Harmand, Souad; Sefiane, Khellil; Bigerelle, Maxence; Deltombe, Raphael Effect of Substrate Temperature on Pattern Formation of Bidispersed Particles from Volatile Drops JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B Parsa, Maryam/E-4565-2015; Bigerelle, Maxence/V-4132-2019 Parsa, Maryam/0000-0001-6390-710X; 1520-6106 DEC 7 2017 121 48 11002 11017 10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b09700 WOS:000417672200026 29135258 J Benselama, AM; Harmand, S; Sefiane, K Benselama, Adel M.; Harmand, Souad; Sefiane, Khellil Thermocapillary effects on steadily evaporating contact line: A perturbative local analysis (vol 24, 072105, 2012) PHYSICS OF FLUIDS 1070-6631 1089-7666 NOV 2017 29 11 119901 10.1063/1.5006992 WOS:000416067400049 J Parsa, M; Boubaker, R; Harmand, S; Sefiane, K; Bigerelle, M; Deltombe, R Parsa, Maryam; Boubaker, Riadh; Harmand, Souad; Sefiane, Khellil; Bigerelle, Maxence; Deltombe, Raphael Patterns from dried water-butanol binary-based nanofluid drops JOURNAL OF NANOPARTICLE RESEARCH Bigerelle, Maxence/V-4132-2019; Parsa, Maryam/E-4565-2015 Parsa, Maryam/0000-0001-6390-710X 1388-0764 1572-896X JUL 28 2017 19 8 268 10.1007/s11051-017-3951-2 WOS:000410841300001 J Duursma, G; Sefiane, K; Dehaene, A; Harmand, S; Wang, Y Duursma, Gail; Sefiane, Khellil; Dehaene, Alexandre; Harmand, Souad; Wang, Yuan Flow and Heat Transfer of Single-and Two-Phase Boiling of Nanofluids in Microchannels HEAT TRANSFER ENGINEERING 13th UK Heat Transfer Conference SEP 02-03, 2013 Imperial Coll London, London, ENGLAND Energy Futures Lab Imperial Coll London 0145-7632 1521-0537 SEP 22 2015 36 14-15 SI 1252 1265 10.1080/01457632.2014.994990 WOS:000352344100009 J Parsa, M; Harmand, S; Sefiane, K; Bigerelle, M; Deltombe, R Parsa, Maryam; Harmand, Souad; Sefiane, Khellil; Bigerelle, Maxence; Deltombe, Raphael Effect of Substrate Temperature on Pattern Formation of Nanoparticles from Volatile Drops LANGMUIR Bigerelle, Maxence/V-4132-2019; Parsa, Maryam/E-4565-2015 Parsa, Maryam/0000-0001-6390-710X; Maxence, Bigerelle/0000-0002-4144-245X 0743-7463 MAR 24 2015 31 11 3354 3367 10.1021/acs.langmuir.5b00362 WOS:000351792800009 25742508 J Wang, Y; Sefiane, K; Wang, ZG; Harmand, S Wang, Yuan; Sefiane, Khellil; Wang, Zhen-guo; Harmand, Souad Analysis of two-phase pressure drop fluctuations during micro-channel flow boiling INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEAT AND MASS TRANSFER 0017-9310 1879-2189 MAR 2014 70 353 362 10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2013.11.012 WOS:000330814800036 J Benselama, AM; Harmand, S; Sefiane, K Benselama, Adel M.; Harmand, Souad; Sefiane, Khellil Thermocapillary effects on steadily evaporating contact line: A perturbative local analysis PHYSICS OF FLUIDS 1070-6631 1089-7666 JUL 2012 24 7 072105 10.1063/1.4732151 WOS:000308406000006 J Wang, Y; Sefiane, K; Harmand, S Wang, Yuan; Sefiane, Khellil; Harmand, Souad Flow boiling in high-aspect ratio mini- and micro-channels with FC-72 and ethanol: Experimental results and heat transfer correlation assessments EXPERIMENTAL THERMAL AND FLUID SCIENCE 0894-1777 1879-2286 JAN 2012 36 93 106 10.1016/j.expthermflusci.2011.09.001 WOS:000298124000011 J Benselama, AM; Harmand, S; Sefiane, K Benselama, Adel M.; Harmand, Souad; Sefiane, Khellil Equilibrium profile of extended isothermal meniscus with gravity inclination effect COLLOIDS AND SURFACES A-PHYSICOCHEMICAL AND ENGINEERING ASPECTS 18th International Symposium on Surfactants in Solution (SIS) NOV 14-19, 2010 Melbourne, AUSTRALIA 0927-7757 1873-4359 NOV 5 2011 391 1-3 SI 158 169 10.1016/j.colsurfa.2011.03.068 WOS:000299068100023 J Benselama, AM; Harmand, S; Sefiane, K Benselama, Adel M.; Harmand, Souad; Sefiane, Khellil A perturbation method for solving the micro-region heat transfer problem PHYSICS OF FLUIDS 1070-6631 OCT 2011 23 10 102103 10.1063/1.3643265 WOS:000296528000013 J Harmand, S; Sefiane, K; Lancial, N; Benselama, AM Harmand, S.; Sefiane, K.; Lancial, N.; Benselama, A. M. Experimental and theoretical investigation of the evaporation and stability of a meniscus in a flat micro-channel INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCES 1290-0729 OCT 2011 50 10 1845 1852 10.1016/j.ijthermalsci.2011.02.009 WOS:000293801500005 S Harmand, S; Sefiane, K; Bennacer, R; Lancial, N Ochsner, A; Murch, GE; Delgado, JMP Harmand, Souad; Sefiane, Khellil; Bennacer, Rachid; Lancial, Nicolas Experimental Investigation of the Evaporation and Stability of a Meniscus in a Flat Microchannel DIFFUSION IN SOLIDS AND LIQUIDS VI, PTS 1 AND 2 Defect and Diffusion Forum 6th International Conference on Diffusion in Solids and Liquids JUL 05-07, 2010 Paris, FRANCE 1012-0386 2011 312-315 1,2 1178 + 10.4028/ WOS:000297606300199
Start Year 2012