Transport Phenomena - Delft University of Technology

Maulik Shah

Maulik Shah (photo)

Collapsing films in emulsions and foams: what a little wave can do!

Contact details

  • Maulik Shah
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Faculty of Applied Sciences (TNW)
  • Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Room: F2.490, Building 58
  • van der Maasweg 9, Delft, The Netherlands

Research interests

  • Stochastic processes in thin-film
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Interfacial Phenomena in Soft Matter

Research description

For many industrial applications, it is important to understand how to control the coalescence of droplets in emulsions. For instance, in the food processing industries, it is important to prolong the flavour and the texture of the food products. In order to do so, it is required that the emulsion droplets/foam bubbles do not coalesce but remain stable for as long as possible. By contrast, for the oil and gas industry, a quick destabilization of the oil in water emulsion, formed in an oil well, ensures a quick separation of the two components. A control over the stability of emulsions is key to these industrial processes. This control is hindered due to lack of accurate models that can predict the coalescence time of the emulsion droplets under industrially relevant conditions.


The physics underneath coalescence of droplets in an emulsion occurs over a range of length scales. The bulk motion of droplets occur at macroscopic scale, droplets approach each other at mesoscopic scale and evolution of the thin film that forms between the droplets upon close contact, occur at micro to nanoscopic scale. My project focuses on the thin film evolution between two emulsion droplets or two foam bubbles, because the duration of the last stage dominates the rupture time. It is therefore, important to understand this stage to control coalescence systems. Film thinning and its subsequent rupture in emulsions will be explored using stochastic simulations.


Personal education

  • Msc (Honors), Chemical Engineering, Delft University of Technology (2013-2015)
  • BSc, Chemical Engineering, Institute of Chemical Technology (2006-2010)

Student Projects

I currently have three student projects available related to my research:

  • Stochastic simulations of emulsion/foam film thinning, assessing the effect of curvature (MSc, numerical)
  • Droplet coalescence kinetics using microfluidics (MSc, experimental)
  • Stochastic simulations of rupture of meta-stable emulsion/foam films (MSc, numerical)

If you have an interesting idea of a project, (for instance, using stochastic simulations to study option pricing, econometrics, mathematical biology, etc.) that you'd like to do, please feel free to contact me! Projects supervised by other people of our group are listed over here.

Last modified: March 24 2017. © Delft University of Technology - TP group 2012