Many industrial processes make extensive use of membranes to separate fluxes while allowing some of the constituent species to diffuse into each other. In recent years, high production and maintenance costs induced by fouling, poisoning and clogging of the membrane pores due to impurities have create conditions to study alternative way of making liquid and/or gaseous streams interact and diffuse without the presence of a physical barrier. One of the possibilities is offered by the essentially laminar character of the flow in microfluidic devices that allows two or more different fluid streams to merge without mixing in a large range of experimental and industrial conditions. In this work, we will study, numerically, the case of two streams of different composition merging in a micro-channel. The upper and lower sides of the micro-channel are heated differentially and the inlet velocity of the streams is set independently in the range 0–1m/s. Simulations are carried out in 2D and 3D while fluids are chosen by considering their industrial importance and application. The main results are that the stability of the streams is very sensitive to the inlet conditions and that it is possible to modulate the mixing layer thickness by acting on thermal gradients, geometrical constraints and slip flow conditions.

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