Re-examining drag reduction: the important interplay between surface and fluid properties

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Mechanical Engineering


Process efficiency is at the forefront of scientific challenges due to the demand for lower global energy consumption. To achieve efficiency gains in "big-energy" processes, modifications of the chemical and physical properties are required. Chemical additives such as drag reducing agents are used to modify pipeline pressure drops, and have undoubtedly led to reductions in the overall pumping power requirements. However, the mechanism for drag reduction is not adequately understood due to a lack of attention given to the chemical-fluid interactions at the solid-liquid and liquid-liquid interfaces. The research project will consider both the colloidal science and fluid mechanics aspects of drag reduction, defining the mechanistic relationship between surface properties and bulk fluid effects. The research problem will demonstrate scalability from nano-scale surface topographies, through to slip-length modification and turbulent eddy dampening. The project will require a range of modelling techniques (to fundamentally describe the mechanism for drag reduction.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509681/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1958044 Studentship EP/N509681/1 01/10/2017 28/02/2021 Michael Raymond McDermott