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Analysis and modelization of local hydrodynamics in bubble columns

Abstract : Bubble columns reactors are widely used in chemical and biological engineering due to its simple configuration without mobile parts. However, the scale-up prediction of a bubble columns reactors is still a challenging process, due to the lack reliable experimental data and models.The present work aims to construct detailed database of the radial and axial evolution of local hydrodynamics properties (gas hold-up, bubble size and velocity, liquid velocity) acquired in several bubble columns in a scale factor of 20 (from 0.15 to 3 m in diameter), for a superficial gas velocity from 3 to 35 cm/s, yielding gas hold-ups up to 35 %. Measurements of local gas hold-up, bubble velocity and bubble vertical size are performed by a 1C mono-fiber optical probe. Moreover, a novel method to measure mean horizontal diameter of bubbles at high void fraction and in a multi-directional flow is proposed. This method is based in the spatial-cross correlation of signal of two optical probes placed parallel side by side, at a given distance from each other, at the same elevation in the column. The validation of the bubble size measurements are performed through a comparison of the results with an endoscopic imaging method. For superficial gas velocities higher than 9 cm/s, a good agreement is found between the three methods (1C mono-fiber optical probe, cross-correlation and endoscopic imaging). A slight increase is registered with the increase of the superficial gas velocity, however there is no significant variation with the column diameter.A 1-D radial model of a bubbly flow (Ueyama and Miyauchi, 1979) developed for a invariant flow along the column axis, is used to benchmark several classic formalisms of the drag force, using experimental average bubble size. Results show that to correctly predict the experimental gas flowrate, it is necessary to use a Swarm factor (Simonnet et al, 2008) that reduces the drag coefficient for high gas hold-up values. Moreover, Fluent® 3D URANS simulations are performed using the previously validated drag force formalism. A good agreement is found between experimental and simulated radial profiles of gas holdup and liquid velocity for column diameters ranging from 0.4 m up to 3 m in diameter in a range of superficial gas velocities from 3 cm/s to 35 cm/s.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 11:58:05 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-01267349, version 1

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Pedro Maximiano Raimundo. Analysis and modelization of local hydrodynamics in bubble columns. Chemical and Process Engineering. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015GREAI080⟩. ⟨tel-01267349⟩

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