Dimitrakopoulos, Panagiotis (Panos)
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Bioengineering
A. James Clark School of Engineering
Our interests in Energy Research are mainly concentrated on the Enhanced Oil Recovery, and in particular on droplet motion in confined geometries under Stokes flow conditions. This regime has relevance in many processes including, enhanced oil recovery, microfluidics, coating operations and biological systems. In the petroleum industry, enhanced oil recovery techniques are strongly dependent on the interaction of oil and water in immiscible two-phase mixtures, and the success of such operations depends on the motion and displacement of small oil droplets in these confined spaces.
In our computational laboratory, we consider different types of solid geometries, ranging from straight channels, to constructions, t- and cross-junctions. We also consider the dynamics of oil droplets suspended in the surrounding liquid but also oil droplet attached to solid surfaces. In addition, we study different types of flow conditions including steady and unsteady flows as well as oscillatory flows which may help significantly the oil recovery. Our highly accurate Spectral Boundary Element algorithm is also well suited to describe the increased hydrodynamic interactions between the oil droplets and the solid walls at the very small gaps encountered in the multi-phase porous media.
Our work in this area has been supported in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society.
Prof. Dimitrakopoulos is the director of the BioFluid Dynamics Laboratory at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering of the University of Maryland. His research involves the dynamics of drops and bubbles in microfluidics and porous media, hemodynamics and hemopathology in the microcirculation, dynamics of synthetic and biological polymers as well as the development of novel computational methodologies for the accurate and efficient study of these physical systems.