- Mechanical Engineering
Expected date of graduation:
Condensation heat transfer enhancement is a critical consideration in the efficiency improvement of many industrial processes. We propose to improve the energy efficiency of natural gas processing plants by increasing the efficiency of the condensation process, which is a key step in gas processing. We will accomplish this by using lubricant-infused surfaces, where a rough nanostructure is infused with a layer of condensate-phobic lubricating fluid. This method has been shown to increase droplet mobility and improve heat transfer coefficient during the condensation of water, but heat transfer coefficients have never been experimentally measured for condensation of low surface tension fluids like natural gas liquids. Surfaces will be designed for optimal interaction with the low surface tension hydrocarbons to minimize droplet departure size and maximize heat transfer coefficient. Preliminary calculations indicate an order of magnitude improvement in condensation heat transfer coefficient compared to current operations, which translates to millions of dollars in savings per natural gas processing facility.
Top 5 Awards and honors (name of award, date received):
5 Recent Papers:
D.J. Preston, A. Anders, B. Barabadi, E. Tio, Y. Zhu, D.A. Dai, E.N. Wang, "Electrowetting-on-Dielectric Actuation of a Vertical Translation and Angular Manipulation Stage," Applied Physics Letters, 109(24), 2016.
H.J. Cho, D.J. Preston, Y. Zhu, E.N. Wang,, "Nanoengineering materials for liquid-vapour phase change heat transfer," Nature Reviews Materials, 2(16092), 2016.
S.M. Jung, D.J. Preston, H.Y. Jung, Z. Deng, E.N. Wang, J. Kong, "Porous Cu Nanowire Aerosponges from One-Step Assembly and their Applications in Heat Dissipation," Advanced Materials, 28(7), 2015.
D.J. Preston, D.L. Mafra, N. Miljkovic, J. Kong, E.N. Wang, "Scalable Graphene Coatings for Enhanced Condensation Heat Transfer," Nano Letters, 15(5), 2015.
D.J. Preston, N. Miljkovic, J. Sack, J. Queeney, E.N. Wang, "Effect of Hydrocarbon Adsorption on the Wettability of Rare Earth Oxide Ceramics," Applied Physics Letters, 105(011601), 2014.