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Title: The effect of surfactants on heat and mass transfer to water drops in air
Author: Sadd, Peter Alan
ISNI:       0000 0001 3544 4566
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1987
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The temperatures and evaporation rates of surfactant-contaminated droplets were determined under controlled conditions. The surfactants used were sodium stearate, sodium palmitate, sodium myristate and sodium laurate. The drops were suspended on fine glass fibres or thermocouples in an environmental cell maintained at known temperature and humidity, and the evaporation rate was determined by optical measurement of the change of diameter with time. The results showed an early evaporation following a "clean" model, with a relatively sharp transition to a regime of "contaminated" evaporation kinetics. Simultaneous measurements of temperature and evaporation rate showed that the contaminants had no effect on heat transfer, i.e. their effect was limited to forming an additional mass transfer resistance. This mass transfer resistance increased strongly with initial surfactant concentration. Surfactants with longer carbon chains produced higher resistances, but after a longer delay. The partial differential equations describing surfactant diffusion within an evaporating drop were set up and solved, and an approximate analytical solution was shown to agree well with a numerical solution. By assuming that the surfactants retarded evaporation at the drop surface both by presenting a diffusional resistance to water transport and by vapour pressure lowering, a model was constructed to predict the evaporation behaviour of contaminated drops. It predicted the results obtained with sodium stearate well, but was unable to explain the results for shorter chain surfactants which were complicated by their adsorption behaviour at the surfactant-water interface. This model of single drop evaporation was extended to describe the evaporation of contaminated aerosols and used in an attempt to explain the measurements of Raper et al. (1982). Their results could not be explained quantitatively by a surfactant contaminant (though a surfactant would have produced similar qualitative features) and were probably caused by experimental error.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Aerosol thermochemistry