CFD simulation of bubble columns incorporating population balance modeling

Bhole, M. R. ; Joshi, J. B. ; Ramkrishna, D. (2008) CFD simulation of bubble columns incorporating population balance modeling Chemical Engineering Science, 63 (8). pp. 2267-2282. ISSN 0009-2509

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A computational fluid dynamics (CFD)-code has been developed using finite volume method in Eulerian framework for the simulation of axisymmetric steady state flows in bubble columns. The population balance equation for bubble number density has been included in the CFD code. The fixed pivot method of Kumar and Ramkrishna [1996. On the solution of population balance equations by discretization-I. A fixed pivot technique. Chemical Engineering Science 51, 1311-1332] has been used to discretize the population balance equation. The turbulence in the liquid phase has been modeled by a k-ε model. The novel feature of the framework is that it includes the size-specific bubble velocities obtained by assuming mechanical equilibrium for each bubble and hence it is a generalized multi-fluid model. With appropriate closures for the drag and lift forces, it allows for different velocities for bubbles of different sizes and hence the proper spatial distributions of bubbles are predicted. Accordingly the proper distributions of gas hold-up, liquid circulation velocities and turbulence intensities in the column are predicted. A survey of the literature shows that the algebraic manipulations of either bubble coalescence or break-up rate were mainly guided by the need to obtain the equilibrium bubble size distributions in the column. The model of Prince and Blanch [1990. Bubble coalescence and break-up in air-sparged bubble columns. A.I.Ch.E. Journal 36, 1485-1499] is known to overpredict the bubble collision frequencies in bubble columns. It has been modified to incorporate the effect of gas phase dispersion number. The predictions of the model are in good agreement with the experimental data of Bhole et al. [2006. Laser Doppler anemometer measurements in bubble column: effect of sparger. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 45, 9201-9207] obtained using Laser Doppler anemometry. Comparison of simulation results with the experimental measurements of Sanyal et al. [1999. Numerical simulation of gas-liquid dynamics in cylindrical bubble column reactors. Chemical Engineering Science 54, 5071-5083] and Olmos et al. [2001. Numerical simulation of multiphase flow in bubble column reactors: influence of bubble coalescence and breakup. Chemical Engineering Science 56, 6359-6365] also show a good agreement for liquid velocity and gas hold-up profiles.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Keywords:Bubble Column; CFD; Population Balance Model; Coalescence; Break-up
ID Code:60144
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 09:54
Last Modified:08 Sep 2011 09:54

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