Oxygenation by a superhydrophobic slip G/L contactor
The compelling need for an efficient supply of gases into liquids or degassing of fluids within confined microchannels triggered our study on membrane assisted microchemical systems. Porous hydrophobic flat/micro-structured polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membranes were fabricated and integrated in a glass G/L contacting microfluidic device with the aid of optical adhesives. The oxygen transport in microchannels, driven by convection and diffusion, was investigated both experimentally and numerically. The effects of intrinsic membrane morphology on the G/L contacting performance of the resultant membranes were studied. The experimental performance of the flat membranes are shown to obey the simulation results with the assumptions of negligible gas phase and membrane mass transfer limitations. Micro-structured membranes revealed apparent slippage and enhanced mass transport rates, and exceeded the experimental performance of the flat membranes.