Ultrasound-assisted Microfluidic Devices: Insights and Optimization of Sono-microreactors

F. J. Navarro-Brull [1], P. Poveda [2], J. Ramis [2], R. Gómez [1],
[1] Departament de Química Física, Universidad de Alicante, Alicante, Spain
[2] Departament de Física, Enginyeria de Sistemes i Teoria del Senyal, Universidad de Alicante, Alicante, Spain

Possible drawbacks of microreactors are inefficient reactant mixing due to the predominance of laminar flow and clogging (when solid-forming reactions are performed or solid catalyst suspensions are used). Ultrasound has been successfully implemented not only to prevent these problems but also for its well-known mixing and particle-dispersion effects. Several configurations have been used for this purpose ranging from immersion of the capillaries in ultrasonic baths or cavitation tubes, to the integration of piezoelectric transducers in the stacked-exchange teflon microreactors. Numerical simulations can help both rationalize the experimental results and gain insights into the physics involved in sono-microreactors. As a result, improved designs of sono-microreactors could ultimately expand the possibilities that microfluidics devices are offering to fine chemical industries.