The results of a comparative numerical study aimed at assessing the mixing performance of planar zig-zag, curvilinear and square-wave microchannels of square cross-section is presented in the paper. To evaluate the mixing enhancement characteristics of each geometry, suitable mixing indices are computed at different axial locations of a single repetitive module of each microchannel when this is fed with two equal streams of fluid having the same thermophysical properties, but different solute concentrations. To separate the effects of the geometry from those of molecular diffusion, entrance flow and channel length, the mixing by pure diffusion in straight microchannels of the same length is also evaluated for comparison. Reynolds numbers in the range from 5 to 150 are considered, while the Pe´clet number is held constant and equal to 2500. All the numerical simulations are carried out using an in-house finite element code for the solution of all model equations.

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