Miscible Fluids in Microgravity (MFMG) - 07.15.14

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery
ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone Honey and water are miscible fluids, that it, fluids that dissolve comletely in each other. Water will be injected into honey to test if it will act like an immiscible fluid, such as water being injected into oil, and spontaneously form a spherical drop. The experiment needs to be performed in weightlessness.

Science Results for Everyone

Oil and water may not mix, but honey and water do. The latter are miscible fluids, meaning they dissolve completely in each other, while the former are immiscble, which do not. Ground-based research indicates that miscible fluids sometimes can act immiscble, and this investigation tested whether that holds in weightlessness. Honey and water were used because they were already on the Station.  A stream of honey injected into water broke into small drops, and an aspherical drop of water in honey spontaneously assumed a spherical shape. No behavior beyond simple diffusion was observed.  This information may be important for materials processing and fluid handling in weightlessness.



The following content was provided by John A. Pojman, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Experiment Details

OpNom

Principal Investigator(s)

  • John A. Pojman, Ph.D., Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, United States

  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
  • Nicholas Bessonov, Ph.D., Institute of the Problems of Mechanical Engineering, St.Petersburg, Russia
  • Vitaly Volpert, Ph.D., Universite Lyon I, Villeurbanne, France

  • Developer(s)
    Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, United States

    Sponsoring Space Agency
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    National Laboratory (NL)

    Research Benefits
    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration
    October 2003 - September 2012

    Expeditions Assigned
    8,9,10,11,29/30,31/32

    Previous ISS Missions
    A related experiment was flown 4 times on a KC-135 aircraft.

    ^ back to top



    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • Ground-based research indicates that misciblel fluids can act like immiscible fluids. Numerical simulations of our previous MFMG experiment indicated that running the experiment longer might allow us to observe a drop of water in honey spontaneously assuming a spherical shape, as would a drop of water in oil.


    • We will be able to test the prediction of our numerical simulations.


    • The research will determine if fluid motion can occur for miscible fluids in weightlessness, even in the absence of buoyancy-driven convection.

    Description
    The goal of MFMG id to determine if interfacial phenomena seen with immiscible fluids can be seen with miscible fluids. The experiments will be performed with existing materials on the ISS. Honey and water were chosen as the fluids, and urine collection syringes will be used as the vessels in which the experiment will be performed. A blob of dyed water will be injected into honey. The drop of water will be imaged for several hours to determine if the water assumes a spherical shape as would be observed for immiscible fluids.

    ^ back to top



    Applications

    Space Applications
    If we show that convection can be caused by an effective interfacial tension between miscible fluids, then this fact may be important for materials processing and fluid handling in weightlessness.

    Earth Applications
    The experiment may have relevance to microfluidics.

    ^ back to top



    Operations

    Operational Requirements
    The water must be injected into the honey without air bubbles. The digital images will be the only data from the expeirment. No realtime downlink is required nor return of samples.

    Operational Protocols
    A blob of dyed water will be injected into honey. The drop of water will be imaged for several hours to determine if the water assumes a spherical shape as would be observed for immiscible fluids.

    ^ back to top



    Results/More Information

    Miscible Fluids in Microgravity (MFMG) was a zero-upmass investigation performed on the International Space Station. The goal of MFMG was to determine if interfacial phenomena seen with immiscible fluids could be seen with miscible fluids. The experiments had to be performed with existing materials on the ISS. Honey and water were chosen as the fluids, and urine collection syringes were used as the vessels in which the experiments were performed. In March 2004 (Increment 8) Dr. Michael Foale performed four experiments under isothermal conditions to determine: If a stream of honey injected into water would exhibit the Rayleigh-Tomotika instability and break into small drops. If an aspherical drop of water in honey would spontaneously assume a spherical shape. The experiments were performed successfully. During Increment 9, Mike Fincke performed two runs in which a stream of honey was injected into water while the syringe was attached to the surface of the Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) at approximately 31 æC. No change in the stream shape was observed. Two more runs were performed on Increments 10 and 11 but no additional phenomena were observed. No behavior beyond simple diffusion was observed. We performed simulations with the Navier-Stokes equations plus a Korteweg stress term. We estimated that the maximum possible value of the square gradient parameter was 10–12 N for the honey-water system.

    ^ back to top



    Results Publications

    ^ back to top


    Ground Based Results Publications

      Pramanik S, Mishra M.  Linear stability analysis of Korteweg stresses effect on miscible viscous fingering in porous media. Physics of Fluids. 2013; 25(7): 074104. DOI: 10.1063/1.4813403.

    ^ back to top


    ISS Patents

    ^ back to top


    Related Publications

      Bessonov N, Volpert V, Pojman JA, Pojman JA, Zoltowski BD.  Numerical Simulations of Convection Induced by Korteweg Streses in Miscible Polymer-Monomer Systems. Microgravity Science and Technology. 2005; 17(1).

      Volpert V, Pojman JA, Pojman JA, Texier-Picard R.  Convection Induced by Composition Gradients in Miscible Systems. Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences - Series IIB - Mechanics. 2002; 330: 353-358.

      Bessonov N, Pojman JA, Pojman JA, Volpert V.  Modelling of Diffuse Interfaces with Temperature Gradients. Journal of Engineering Mathematics. 2004; 49: 321-338.

    ^ back to top


    Related Websites
    Science @ NASA: Space Station Ingenuity
    Science @ NASA
    Life of D.J. Korteweg
    NASA Fact Sheet
    Pojman Research Group
    Miscible Fluids in Microgravity (MFMG)

    ^ back to top



    Imagery

    image NASA Image: ISS008E18752 - Honey injected into water during the MFMG experiment onboard the International Space Station, March 2003.
    + View Larger Image


    image Professor Pojman displays the prototype MFMG experiment. Image courtesy NASA.
    + View Larger Image


    image NASA Image - ISS010E22747 MFMG syringe containing a honey and water mixture on ISS Expedition 10.
    + View Larger Image


    image NASA Image: ISS011E07709 - ISS Expedition 11 Science Officer, John Phillips, setting up the MFMG hardware before the final session of MFMG. At the work table, Phillips slowly injected tinted water into honey for MFMG.
    + View Larger Image


    image NASA Image: ISS011E07771 - Close up view of the MFMG syringe containing honey injected with tinted water during Expedition 11.
    + View Larger Image