Dmitry Kopelevich, Ph.D., associate professor in the University of Florida Department of Chemical Engineering (UF CHE) is leading a grant from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund titled: Investigation of Mechanisms of Shear-Induced Diffusion in non-Brownian Suspensions.
Particle suspensions in liquids have a wide array of applications in oil exploration and production. When suspended particles are sufficiently large, the thermal Brownian forces acting on them are negligible. Nevertheless, the particles are observed to undergo diffusive motion, which is qualitatively similar to the Brownian motion. Better understanding of fundamental properties of suspensions is key for the development of efficient technologies in the oil industry.
Dr. Kopelevich is collaborating with Jason Butler, Ph.D., professor in UF CHE to apply tools of statistical mechanics to investigate fundamental mechanisms of diffusion in such non-Brownian suspensions.
“We aim to explain some counterintuitive experimental observations, for example, that increasing particle roughness leads to decrease of their diffusivity,” Dr. Kopelevich said.
Dr. Kopelevich directs the Kopelevich Research Laboratory, that focuses on theoretical and computational investigation of transport phenomena and non-equilibrium processes in nano- and microscale systems. They apply various simulation methods, such as molecular and Brownian dynamics, as well as theoretical tools to various systems whose understanding is of significant scientific and technological importance.