Oil phase displacement by acoustic streaming in a reservoir-on-a-chip

  • Hsiang-Lan Yeh
  • Jaime J. JuárezEmail author
Research Paper


This article presents a reservoir-on-a-chip study of acoustic streaming as an enhanced oil recovery mechanism. Microfluidic devices with different porosities are fabricated using photolithography to serve as reservoir-on-a-chip micromodels. We use microparticle image velocimetry to characterize acoustic streaming-induced pumping as a function of frequency and amplitude. A scaling model applied to the velocity distribution is used to construct a state diagram that connects acoustic pressure to field frequency and amplitude. Optical video fluorescence microscopy is used to track the invasion of a water phase through the oil-saturated porous micromodel. Based on these measurements, we calculate the Blake number as a function of frequency to show that our system exhibits a narrow band dynamic response consistent with a system operating near resonance. Our observations are compared to a general model for Blake number as a function of frequency, porosity and voltage amplitude that was derived from a force balance model of the micromodel undergoing forced oscillation. The results from this paper are broadly applicable to systems beyond enhanced oil recovery, including separations, bio-analytical instruments, additive manufacturing and flow control.



HLY and JJJ thank Min Lin and the Keck Microfabrication Facility at Iowa State University for providing photolithography support and silane coating for this project.

Supplementary material

10404_2019_2279_MOESM1_ESM.docx (137 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 136 kb)


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  2. 2.Center for Multiphase Flow Research and EducationIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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