Hydrodynamics and bubble size in bubble columns: effects of contaminants and spargers

Abstract : The simulation of bubble columns operating under the heterogeneous regime is an ambitious challenge, due to the difficulty of predicting accurately hy-drodynamics and bubble size distributions, that requires experimental data for model validation. Gas fraction distributions, liquid and gas velocity profiles and bubble size distributions across bubble columns are deeply interconnected in these systems and only a comprehensive study allows the links between them to be understood. This work reports experimental data obtained by measuring bubble sizes with an innovative technique based on the cross correlation between two optical probes. Particular attention is given to the role of additives and impurities with a view to suppressing bubble coalescence. Initially experiments are carried out with demineralized water; subsequently they are repeated with tap water and adding small quantities of ethanol. Results show that contaminants and alcohol addition suppress bub-* (A. Cloupet), daniele.marchisio@polito.it (D.L. Marchisio) ble coalescence and induces a decrease of mean bubble sizes. Furthermore, alcohol addition delays the transition from homogeneous to heterogeneous regimes and increases the gas holdup under the heterogeneous regime. Gas distribution is studied through two different perforated spargers. Changing the sparger it is possible to modify the bubble size in the lowest part of the column significantly. A perforated sparger with big holes causes the formation of big bubbles close to the holes of the sparger and promotes bubble breakage in the lower part of the column. By combining ethanol addition and sparger modification, bubble coalescence and bubble breakage can be decoupled in a controlled manner and interesting conclusions concerning these processes can be drawn. Beyond the novelty of bubble size measurements at high gas fraction , the experimental data collected are very useful to validate and develop computational fluid dynamics simulations coupled with population balance models suitable for heterogeneous bubbly flows.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 19, 2018 - 4:21:00 PM
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L. Gemello, C. Plais, F. Augier, A. Cloupet, D.L. Marchisio. Hydrodynamics and bubble size in bubble columns: effects of contaminants and spargers. Chemical Engineering Science, Elsevier, 2018, 184, pp.93 - 102. ⟨10.1016/j.ces.2018.03.043⟩. ⟨hal-01899599⟩

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