Spatial distribution of mechanical forces and ionic flux in electro-kinetic instability near a permselective membrane

Abstract : This paper is devoted to the numerical investigation of electro-kinetic instability in a polarization layer next to a cation-exchange membrane. An analysis of some properties of the electro-kinetic instability is followed by a detailed description of the fluid flow structure and of the spatial distribution of the ionic flux. In this aim, the Stokes-Poisson-Nernst-Planck equation set is solved until the Debye length scale. The results show that the potential threshold of the marginal instability and the current density depend on the logarithm of the concentration at the membrane surface. The size of the stable vortices seems to be an increasing function of the potential drop. The fluid motion is induced by the electric force along the maximum concentration in the extended space charge (ESC) region and by the pressure force in the region around the inner edge of the ESC layer. Two spots of kinetic energy are located in the ESC region and between the vortices. The cationic motion, controlled by the electric field and the convection, presents counter-rotating vortices in the stagnation zone located in the fluid ejection region. The anion transport is also characterized by two independent layers which contain counter-rotating vortices. The first one is in contact with the stationary reservoir. In the second layer against the membrane, the convection, and the electric field control, the transversal motion, the Fickian diffusion, and the convection are dominant in the longitudinal direction. Finally, the longitudinal disequilibrium of potential and pressure along the membrane is analyzed.
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Submitted on : Monday, April 29, 2019 - 4:34:16 PM
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Pierre Magnico. Spatial distribution of mechanical forces and ionic flux in electro-kinetic instability near a permselective membrane. Physics of Fluids, American Institute of Physics, 2018, 30 (1), pp.014101. ⟨10.1063/1.5007930⟩. ⟨hal-02114498⟩



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