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CFD Simulations to Validate Two and Three Phase Up-flow in Bubble Columns

Authors: Shyam Kumar, Nannuri Srinivasulu, Ashok Khanna

Abstract:

Bubble columns have a variety of applications in absorption, bio-reactions, catalytic slurry reactions, and coal liquefaction; because they are simple to operate, provide good heat and mass transfer, having less operational cost. The use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for bubble column becomes important, since it can describe the fluid hydrodynamics on both local and global scale. Euler- Euler two-phase fluid model has been used to simulate two-phase (air and water) transient up-flow in bubble column (15cm diameter) using FLUENT6.3. These simulations and experiments were operated over a range of superficial gas velocities in the bubbly flow and churn turbulent regime (1 to16 cm/s) at ambient conditions. Liquid velocity was varied from 0 to 16cm/s. The turbulence in the liquid phase is described using the standard k-ε model. The interactions between the two phases are described through drag coefficient formulations (Schiller Neumann). The objectives are to validate CFD simulations with experimental data, and to obtain grid-independent numerical solutions. Quantitatively good agreements are obtained between experimental data for hold-up and simulation values. Axial liquid velocity profiles and gas holdup profiles were also obtained for the simulation.

Keywords: Bubble column, Computational fluid dynamics, Gas holdup profile, k-ε model.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1080538

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