Flows of Granular Solids and Gases
Our work focuses on fundamental studies of granular and gas-solid flows with geophysical and industrial applications. We perform laboratory and field experiments, create numerical simulations, model fluid mechanics and heat transfer in these flows, and develop new instrumentation.
Michel Louge has joined VinUniversity (Hanoi, Vietnam) as a Distinguished Professor.
Hardware for our experiment on Inertial Spreading and Imbibition of
a Liquid Drop through a Porous Surface (ISPS) has launched aboard the S.S. Alan Bean NG-12 spacecraft from Wallops Island on November 2, 2019, and berthed on the International Space Station on November 4. On December 10, ISS Commander Luca Parmitano successfully set up ISPS hardware in the Microgravity Science Glovebox
of the International Space Station. He carried out imbibition tests
with water spheres on December 11. Details are found in our page on Unsaturated Porous Media. This Cornell Chronicle article provides context.
We developed and published a new statistical mechanics framework for predicting the behavior of unsaturated porous media from known geometry and surface energy. The article is open-access with Phys. Rev. E. We published another article
predicting the regimes of behavior of the advancing and receding
contact angle using elements of statistical mechanics. Here is a presentation at Interpore 2017 summarizing these results.
on our desert dune project, including expeditions to
Mauritania (March 2010 and January 2011) and Qatar (March, June and November 2011,
January, April, July, November 2012, April 2013, January, April 2014, January 2015, 2016 and 2017, and May 2017).
Our research has
contributed to subjects as diverse as the scale-up of circulating
fluidized beds under atmospheric and pressurized conditions; the
behavior of pressurized
cyclone separators; the interactions of gas and
solid particles in pneumatic
transport of particles; the impact of
small solid spheres; the heat
transfer in suspensions of gases and
agitated solids; flows of
grains on inclines; segregation
and flow of
grains in microgravity; mechanisms of particle interactions in
agitated granular media; the water
budget, dust inoculation, and
seepage through desert sand dunes; "eruption
currents," which include powder snow avalanches; and unsaturated
Applications of this research are found in Chemical Engineering
(e.g., catalytic cracking, solids transport, solid combustion) and
Geophysics (e.g., snow avalanches, desertification). Our experimental
facilities have included a circulating
fluidized bed, a large inclined
chute, a flume,
and a unique setup to record restitution
in the impacts of small spheres.
collaborate with the Universite de
Rennes, the University
Nottingham, the Universite
de Nantes, the Weill-Cornell
Medical College in Qatar, the Biotechnology Centre of the Qatar
Ministry of Environment, Maersk
Oil in Qatar, the Ecole
Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Tencate
Geosynthetics, the Laboratoire
3SR of the Universite de Grenoble, DAMTP at the University of Cambridge,
and the LGPM laboratory of the CentraleSupelec in Paris. Sponsors have
included the NSF, the US DoE, NASA, ARO,
Electricite de France, the International
Fine Particle Research
Institute, the ACS
Petroleum Research Fund and the Qatar
National Research Foundation.