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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/R045046/1
Title Probing Multiscale Complex Multiphase Flows with Positrons for Engineering and Biomedical Applications
Status Started
Energy Categories Energy Efficiency(Transport) 2%;
Not Energy Related 90%;
Other Power and Storage Technologies(Electric power conversion) 3%;
Fossil Fuels: Oil Gas and Coal(Oil and Gas, Refining, transport and storage of oil and gas) 5%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Physics) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Chemical Engineering) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Professor M Barigou
No email address given
Chemical Engineering
University of Birmingham
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 October 2018
End Date 30 September 2024
Duration 72 months
Total Grant Value £5,765,129
Industrial Sectors Chemicals; Energy; Food and Drink; Healthcare; Manufacturing; Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Region West Midlands
Programme Manufacturing : Manufacturing, NC : Engineering
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor M Barigou , Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham (99.994%)
  Other Investigator Dr J Vanneste , Sch of Mathematics, University of Edinburgh (0.001%)
Dr SA Niederer , Imaging & Biomedical Engineering, King's College London (0.001%)
Professor P Blower , Imaging & Biomedical Engineering, King's College London (0.001%)
Dr R Torres Martin de Rosales , Imaging & Biomedical Engineering, King's College London (0.001%)
Professor P Marsden , Imaging & Biomedical Engineering, King's College London (0.001%)
Professor DJ Parker , School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham (0.001%)
Web Site
Abstract A vital challenge for modern engineering is the modelling of the multiscale complex particle-liquid flows at the heart of numerous industrial and physiological processes. Industries dependent on such flows include food, chemicals, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, oil, mining, river engineering, construction, power generation, biotechnology and medicine. Despite this large range of application areas, industrial practice and processes and clinical practice are neither efficient nor optimal because of a lack of fundamental understanding of the complex, multiscale phenomena involved. Flows may be turbulent or viscous and the carrier fluid may exhibit complex non-Newtonian rheology. Particles have various shapes, sizes, densities, bulk and surface properties. The ability to understand multiscale particle-liquid flows and predict them reliably would offer tremendous economic, scientific and societal benefits to the UK. Our fundamental understanding has so far been restricted by huge practical difficulties in imaging such flows and measuring their local properties. Mixtures of practical interest are often concentrated and opaque so that optical flow visualisation is impossible. We propose to overcome this problem using the technique of positron emission particle tracking (PEPT) which relies on radiation that penetrates opaque materials. We will advance the fundamental physics of multiscale particle-liquid flows in engineering and physiology through an exceptional experimental and theoretical effort, delivering a step change in our ability to image, model, analyse, and predict these flows. We will develop: (i) unique transformative Lagrangian PEPT diagnostic methodology for engineering and physiological flows; and (ii) innovative Lagrangian theories for the analysis of the phenomena uncovered by our measurements.The University of Birmingham Positron Imaging Centre, where the PEPT technique was invented, is unique in the world in its use of positron-emitting radioactive tracers to study engineering processes. In PEPT, a single radiolabelled particle is used as a flow follower and tracked through positron detection. Thus, each component in a multiphase particle-liquid flow can be labelled and its behaviour observed. Compared with leading optical laser techniques (e.g. LDV, PIV), PEPT has the enormous and unique advantage that it can image opaque fluids, and fluids inside opaque apparatus and the human body. To make the most of this and image fast, complex multiphase and multiscale flows in aqueous systems, improved tracking sensitivity and accuracy, dedicated new radiotracers and simultaneous tracking of multiple tracers must be developed, and new theoretical frameworks must be devised to analyse and interpret the data. By delivering this, we will enable multiscale complex particle-liquid flows to be studied with unprecedented detail and resolution in regimes and configurations hitherto inaccessible to any available technique. The benefits will be far-reaching since the range of applications of PEPT in engineering and medicine is extremely wide. This multidisciplinary Programme harnesses the synergy between world-leading centres at Birmingham (chemical engineering, physics), Edinburgh (applied maths) and King's College London (PET chemistry, biomedical engineering) to develop unique PEPT diagnostic tools, and to study experimentally and theoretically outstanding multiscale multiphase flow problems which can only be tackled by these tools. The advances of the Programme include: a novel microPEPT device designed to image microscale flows, and a novel medical PEPT validated in small animals for translation to humans. The investigators' combined strengths and the accompanying wide-ranging industrial collaborations, will ensure that this Programme leads to a paradigm-shift in complex multiphase flow research
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 06/02/19