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Fluids and Environment group

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Welcome to the website of the Fluids and the Environment Group, which is led by Professor Silvana Cardoso.

Our research focuses on the interaction of fluid flow, heat and mass transport, and chemical kinetics in in both industrial and environmental flows, ranging from the small to the large scales.  We have particular interests in flows where buoyancy forces are important, arising from temperature, concentration, and chemical or phase changes.

The emphasis of our research is in describing very complex problems coupling fluid dynamics and reaction in terms of a few key physical mechanisms. Our methodology combines modern mathematical techniques, computational modelling and laboratory experiments; these techniques are complementary and provide insight into the underlying physical and chemical controls, as well as the detailed behaviour of a system. 

The impact of our work is dual: (a) scientifically, we create the fundamental knowledge on how to tackle a given flow, which acts as a platform upon which further complexity may be built; and (b) in engineering, we contribute with results simple enough to aid the design of new technology or the improvement of existing one.

Areas of research and specific applications include:

  1. Flow and reaction in porous rocks, e.g., the spreading of carbon dioxide during geological storage at Sleipner in the North Sea.

  2. Turbulent plumes and chemical clouds in the environment, such as the BP oil plume in the Gulf of Mexico (2010), the Fukushima nuclear cloud (2011), and seabed methane releases as the climate warms.

  3. Self-assembling porous precipitate structures, such as submarine hydrothermal vents. 

 

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Mixing by a two-phase bubble plume (see Chen, M.H. and Cardoso, S.S.S., 2000, The mixing of liquids by a plume of low Reynolds number bubbles, Chem. Eng. Sci. 55, 2585-2594)