Skip to main content Accessibility help

Streaming-potential phenomena in the thin-Debye-layer limit. Part 1. General theory

  • Ehud Yariv (a1), Ory Schnitzer (a1) and Itzchak Frankel (a2)

Electrokinetic streaming-potential phenomena are driven by imposed relative motion between liquid electrolytes and charged solids. Owing to non-uniform convective ‘surface’ current within the Debye layer Ohmic currents from the electro-neutral bulk are required to ensure charge conservation thereby inducing a bulk electric field. This, in turn, results in electro-viscous drag enhancement. The appropriate modelling of these phenomena in the limit of thin Debye layers ( denoting the dimensionless Debye thickness) has been a matter of ongoing controversy apparently settled by Cox’s seminal analysis (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 338, 1997, p. 1). This analysis predicts electro-viscous forces that scale as resulting from the perturbation of the original Stokes flow with the Maxwell-stress contribution only appearing at higher orders. Using scaling analysis we clarify the distinction between the normalizations pertinent to field- and motion-driven electrokinetic phenomena, respectively. In the latter class we demonstrate that the product of the Hartmann & Péclet numbers is contrary to Cox (1997) where both parameters are assumed . We focus on the case where motion-induced fields are comparable to the thermal scale and accordingly present a singular-perturbation analysis for the limit where the Hartmann number is and the Péclet number is . Electric-current matching between the Debye layer and the electro-neutral bulk provides an inhomogeneous Neumann condition governing the electric field in the latter. This field, in turn, results in a velocity perturbation generated by a Smoluchowski-type slip condition. Owing to the dominant convection, the present analysis yields an asymptotic structure considerably simpler than that of Cox (1997): the electro-viscous effect now already appears at and is contributed by both Maxwell and viscous stresses. The present paradigm is illustrated for the prototypic problem of a sphere sedimenting in an unbounded fluid domain with the resulting drag correction differing from that calculated by Cox (1997). Independently of current matching, salt-flux matching between the Debye layer and the bulk domain needs also to be satisfied. This subtle point has apparently gone unnoticed in the literature, perhaps because it is trivially satisfied in field-driven problems. In the present limit this requirement seems incompatible with the uniform salt distribution in the convection-dominated bulk domain. This paradox is resolved by identifying the dual singularity associated with the limit in motion-driven problems resulting in a diffusive layer of thickness beyond the familiar -wide Debye layer.

Corresponding author
Email address for correspondence:
Hide All
1. Alexander, B. M. & Prieve, D. C. 1987 A hydrodynamic technique for measurement of colloidal forces. Langmuir 3 (5), 788795.
2. Anderson, J. L. 1989 Colloid transport by interfacial forces. Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech. 30, 139165.
3. Bike, S. G., Lazarro, L. & Prieve, D. C. 1995 Electrokinetic lift of a sphere moving in slow shear flow parallel to a wall I. Experiment. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 175 (2), 411421.
4. Bike, S. G. & Prieve, D. C. 1990 Electrohydrodynamic lubrication with thin double layers. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 136 (1), 95112.
5. Bike, S. G. & Prieve, D. C. 1992 Electrohydrodynamics of thin double layers: a model for the streaming potential profile. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 154, 8796.
6. Bike, S. G. & Prieve, D. C. 1995 Electrokinetic lift of a sphere moving in slow shear flow parallel to a wall II. Theory. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 175 (2), 422434.
7. Boléve, A., Crespy, A., Revil, A., Janod, F. & Mattiuzzo, J. L. 2007 Streaming potentials of granular media: influence of the Dukhin and Reynolds numbers. J. Geophys. Res. 112, B08204.
8. Booth, F. 1950 The electroviscous effect for suspensions of solid spherical particles. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A 203 (1075), 533551.
9. Booth, F. 1954 Sedimentation potential and velocity of solid spherical particles. J. Chem. Phys. 22, 19561968.
10. Brenner, H. 1964 The Stokes resistance of an arbitrary particle – IV. Arbitrary fields of flow. Chem. Engng Sci. 19, 703727.
11. Cox, R. G. 1997 Electroviscous forces on a charged particle suspended in a flowing liquid. J. Fluid Mech. 338, 134.
12. Doi, M. & Makino, M. 2008 Electrokinetic boundary condition compatible with the Onsager reciprocal relation in the thin double layer approximation. J. Chem. Phys. 128, 044715.
13. Happel, J. & Brenner, H. 1965 Low Reynolds Number Hydrodynamics. Prentice-Hall.
14. Hinch, E. J. & Sherwood, J. D. 1983 Primary electroviscous effect in a suspension of spheres with thin double layers. J. Fluid Mech. 132, 337347.
15. Lac, E. & Sherwood, J. D. 2009 Streaming potential generated by a drop moving along the centreline of a capillary. J. Fluid Mech. 640, 5577.
16. Leal, L. G. 2007 Advanced Transport Phenomena: Fluid Mechanics and Convective Transport Processes. Cambridge University Press.
17. Lyklema, J. 1995 Fundamentals of Interface and Colloid Science, vol. II. Academic.
18. Ohshima, H., Healy, T. W., White, L. R. & O’Brien, R. W. 1984 Sedimentation velocity and potential in a dilute suspension of charged spherical colloidal particles. J. Chem. Soc. Faraday Trans. 80 (10), 12991317.
19. Prieve, D. C., Ebel, J. P., Anderson, J. L. & Lowell, M. E. 1984 Motion of a particle generated by chemical gradients. Part 2. Electrolytes. J. Fluid Mech. 148, 247269.
20. Rubinstein, I. & Zaltzman, B. 2001 Electro-osmotic slip of the second kind and instability in concentration polarization at electrodialysis membranes. Math. Models Meth. Appl. Sci. 11, 263300.
21. Russel, W. B. 1978 The rheology of suspensions of charged rigid spheres. J. Fluid Mech. 85 (2), 209232.
22. Saville, D. A. 1977 Electrokinetic effects with small particles. Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech. 9, 321337.
23. Sherwood, J. D. 1980 The primary electroviscous effect in a suspension of spheres. J. Fluid Mech. 101 (3), 609629.
24. Sherwood, J. D. 2007 Streaming potential generated by two-phase flow in a capillary. Phys. Fluids 19, 053101.
25. Sherwood, J. D. 2008 Streaming potential generated by a long viscous drop in a capillary. Langmuir 24 (18), 1001110018.
26. Sherwood, J. D. 2009 Streaming potential generated by a small charged drop in Poiseuille flow. Phys. Fluids 21, 013101.
27. Smoluchowski, M. 1921 Elektrische Endosmose und Strömungsströme. In Handbuch der Elektrizität und des Magnetismus, Band II, Stationaire Ströme (ed. Graetz, L. ). Barth.
28. Tabatabaei, S. M. & van de Ven, T. G. M. 2010 Tangential electroviscous drag on a sphere surrounded by a thin double layer near a wall for arbitrary particle–wall separations. J. Fluid Mech. 656, 360406.
29. Tabatabaei, S. M., van de Ven, T. G. M. & Rey, A. D. 2006 Electroviscous sphere–wall interactions. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 301 (1), 291301.
30. Van Dyke, M. 1964 Perturbation Methods in Fluid Mechanics. Academic.
31. van de Ven, T. G. M., Warszynski, P. & Dukhin, S. S. 1993a Attractive electroviscous forces. Colloids Surf. A 79 (1), 3341.
32. van de Ven, T. G. M., Warszynski, P. & Dukhin, S. S. 1993b Electrokinetic lift of small particles. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 157 (2), 328331.
33. Warszynski, P. & van de Ven, T. G. M. 2000 Electroviscous forces on a charged cylinder moving near a charged wall. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 223, 115.
34. Yariv, E. 2010 An asymptotic derivation of the thin-Debye-layer limit for electrokinetic phenomena. Chem. Engng Commun. 197, 317.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Fluid Mechanics
  • ISSN: 0022-1120
  • EISSN: 1469-7645
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-fluid-mechanics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *

JFM classification


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed