nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Temperature and particles settling out

I was thinking about what effect temperature would have on how long it takes particles to settle out of a liquid, and came up with three guesses.

One is that higher temperatures would make particles take longer because heat would keep the liquid stirred up. Another is that heat would cause settling to happen faster because heat makes everything happen faster. Ok, that's probably not quite true, but a very cold and sticky mix wouldn't let the particles move down very fast.

I'm betting on number three-- this is actually something very complicated, and it's why industrial processes need engineers using approximations to figure out what's likely to happen. In particular, it wouldn't surprise me if there's a temperature range for fastest settling of particular combinations of particles and liquids, and the behavior of the particles will be affected by their size and shape, not just their chemical composition.

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