Aubrey Taylor ’24
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Microfluidics for Sustainability: Liquid Entrapment and Diffusiophoresis in Action
I learned to manufacture microfluidic devices to replicate “solid with infused reactive liquid” (SWIRL) technology, a method to efficiently capture carbon from flue gas for sequestration. Flue gas from fossil-fuel powered generation plants contributes to a substantial portion of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. SWIRL utilizes a micro-engineered surface coated in a thin layer of liquid amine that reacts with carbon dioxide. I ran experiments that measured the viscosity ratios of various oils to water, which introduced me to many advanced concepts in fluid mechanics. My experiments will be used to develop an oil-water system that can replace the amine and flue gas used in SWIRL for simplicity while we test its long-term stability. For accurate and efficient data analysis, I used ImageJ and MATLAB, to write programs that can scan through hours of videos to collect and organize relevant data. I also initiated a related microfluidics project that utilizes oil entrapment to remove microplastics for water purification. Overall, this experience has made me incredibly passionate about scientific research and the potential for combining mechanical engineering with my background in civil and environmental engineering.
Water and the Environment
Complex Fluids Group, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University - Princeton, New Jersey
Howard Stone, Donald R. Dixon ’69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Samantha McBride, Postdoctoral Research Associate and Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Fernando Temprano-Coleto, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment