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Academic report by Ph.D. candidates Zhenbang Qi, Yi Xu and Junjie Zhong from University of Toronto

June 4, 2018, the Institute of Engineering Thermophysics, College of Power Engineering invited three Ph.D. candidates Zhenbang Qi, Yi Xu and Junjie Zhong come from the SintonLab, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto to give a report titled “Application of Microfluidic Chips in Energy and Chemical Engineering”. The three Ph.D. candidates are under the supervision of Prof. David Sinton, the Canada Research Chair in Microfluidics and Energy. Their research work has been published more than twenty articles in the top chemical and energy journals over the past three years. Some patents have been applied to related services such as oil and gas property analysis, enhanced oil recovery technology by Interface Fluidics, Alberta, Canada.

At the beginning, Dr. Biao Zhang gave a brief introduction about Zhenbang Qi, Yi Xu and Junjie Zhong, and expressed his warm welcome.


The three Ph.D. candidates mainly introduced the application of modern microfluidic chips in the fields of traditional oil extraction, shale oil/gas property analysis and microalgae extraction. Zhenbang Qi introduced the use of microfluidic technology to convert microalgae into biodiesel, and extract value-added products such as astaxanthin. In addition, he also showed how to use microfluidic chips to investigate the steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) of very viscous bitumen. Yi Xu covered the fluid analysis with microfluidics, and CO2, oil, gas property analysis. With the help of silicon-glass microfluidic chips, he could directly measure the fluid phase diagram of hydrocarbon properties by controlling temperature field and pressure field. Junjie Zhong focused on nanofluidics for unconventional reservoirs, using nanofluidics as a window for shale nanoporous structures and enhanced recovery, and applying advanced micromachining technology and experimental methods to obtain phase transition properties at sub-100 nm, sub-10 nm scales.


The academic talk of Zhenbang Qi, Yi Xu and Junjie Zhong were informative and fascinating. The audience got an understanding about the frontier of microfluidics.


At the end, Prof. Xun Zhu awarded souvenirs to three Ph.D. candidates, which represent the sincere thanks from the Institute of Engineering Thermophysics.



Authors: Chuhe Yu    Photographer: Yingying Dong, Chuhe Yu