物理系学术报告 Condensed Matter Physics Seminar
Electrorheology for Efficient Energy Production Transportation and Conservation
Rongjia Tao (APS Fellow)
Department of Physics,
At present, most of our energy comes from liquid fuels. The viscosity plays a very important role in liquid fuel production, transportation, and conservation. For example, reducing the viscosity of crude oil is the key for oil extraction and its transportation from off-shore via deep water pipelines. Currently, the dominant method to reduce viscosity is to raise oil’s temperature, which does not only require much energy, but also impacts the environment. Based on the basic physics of viscosity, we proposed a new theory and developed a new technology, utilizing electrorheology to reduce the viscosity of liquid fuels. The method is energy-efficient, and the results are significant. When this technology is applied to crude oil, the suspended nanoscale paraffin particle, asphalt particles, and other particles are aggregated into streamline aggregates, leading to significant viscosity reduction of 30% - 50% or more. When the temperature is below 0oC, the viscosity reduction can be as high as 75%. In comparison with heating, to reach the same level of viscosity reduction, this technology requires less than 1% of the energy needed for heating. Moreover, this technology only takes several seconds to complete the viscosity reduction. It is applicable to both off-shore pipelines and on-shore pipelines.
In addition, we have also applied electrorheology to reduce the viscosity of diesel fuel just before the fuel atomization. Much smaller fuel droplets are injected into the engine chamber. Since burning starts at the fuel droplet surface, with small fuel droplets, the fuel can mix with air much better, the combustion goes faster and cleaner, and the heat is released on time to push the piston to do work, making the combustion faster, more timely and efficient. Our technology improves the engine efficiency by about 20% at dynamometer tests and more than 12% on road tests. While this technology continues to develop, our results clearly show that it is a game changer for energy production, transportation, and conservation.
Rongjia Tao, Professor and Chair of the Physics Department
of Temple University. He obtained
his Ph.D. degree from
Professor Tao’s research interests include: Energy science, formation of high temperature superconducting balls, smart fluids, electrorheological (ER) and magnetorheo-logical (MR) fluids, three-dimensional photonic crystals and communication, and nonlinear optics.
His recent work [Phys. Rev. E 84, 011905 (2011)] on how magnetic field can help reduce blood viscosity and thus prevent heart attacks has been widely reported in news media, including Science News, APS News and other mass media.