Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Alberto Passalacqua


The objective of the study presented in this thesis is to improve the accuracy of the two-fluid model for simulating the flow behavior in bubble columns. To achieve this investigation, CFD simulations were conducted by using the open source software OpenFOAM®. Results were compared to the experimental measurements of Harteveld (2005).

The CFD simulations were performed using the two-fluid solver in OpenFOAM, which describes the phases as interpenetrating continua, identified by the corresponding phase volume fractions. Several models for drag, lift, virtual mass and wall-lubrication were validated in the present work. The following objectives were accomplished in order to achieve the final goal. Firstly, different drag, lift, wall lubrication, and virtual mass models were applied to the two-fluid model to test model accuracy for 2D rectangular bubble column. Then, OpenFOAM simulations of a 3D rectangular bubble column were performed us-ing the pre-tested sub-models, and the flow behavior was compared to previous 2D simulation and experimental results. In the end, a stability test was studied on the 2D rectangular bubble column.

With fully studying of rectangular bubble column simulations, 3D cylinder bubble column was simulated. Mesh independence study was performed, and simulation results were compared to experimental data. Finally, stability analysis of the 3D cylinder bubble column was performed by varying inject velocities.

Copyright Owner

Hao Bai



File Format


File Size

104 pages