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International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering

Ed. by de Lasa, Hugo / Xu, Charles Chunbao

12 Issues per year


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1542-6580
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Volume 3, Issue 1

Characterization of Homogeneity of Bubble Flows in Bubble Columns Using RPT and Fibre Optics

Sikun Xu / Yuhui Qu / Jamal Chaouki / Christophe Guy
Published Online: 2005-11-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1542-6580.1264

Homogeneous flows of air-water in two bubble columns, 0.130 m and 0.292 m in diameter, were investigated using RPT (radioactive particle tracking) and fibre optics. The homogeneity of bubble flows at U g < 0.04 m/s was revealed not only in the hydrodynamics of the gas/liquid phase but also in the transport phenomena (turbulence intensity…). RPT Lagrangian data derived that turbulence was about 0.15 m/s for the radial direction and 0.26~0.35 m/s for axial direction in the 0.292 m column, 0.05~0.16 m/s for the radial direction and 0.25~0.35 m/s for the axial direction in the 0.13 column. Average bubble diameter was 4~5.3 mm and was almost constant for the radial locations. The result was twice the sizes of the predicted bubble sizes in the CFD modeling. The slip velocity was 0.3 m/s at U g=0.015~0.033m/s as it was assumed in many reactor designs, and only a small variation was found at the radial locations. In flow patterns, stable circulation cells were revealed using velocity vector plots if a single nozzle sparger was used in the 0.13m column, which confirmed Joshi’s assumptions (Joshi and Sharma, 1979) and Lin’s assumption (Lin et al., 1996) based on 2-D columns. Using a perforated sparger was helpful to form a stable mean velocity field. Mean bubble diameters and bubble size distribution varied only slightly with radial/axial locations, which was consistent with the homogeneity of radial/axial turbulence. Bubble-size evolution from their formation to equilibrium mean diameter was discussed. Mean bubble size correlation was approached. The homogeneity of investigated flows was also substantiated by the criteria of stability for bubble flows.

Keywords: bubble columns; bubble flow; hydrodynamics; bubble size; slip velocity; RPT

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Published Online: 2005-11-22


Citation Information: International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Volume 3, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1542-6580, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1542-6580.1264.

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