Document Type

Conference Proceeding


ASME 2006 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition

Publication Date





Chicago, IL


There is great potential for using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) as a tool in scale-up and design of bubble columns. Full-scale experimentation in bubble columns is expensive and CFD is an alternative approach to study bubble column hydrodynamics. However, CFD can be computationally intensive as a predictive tool for a full three-dimensional geometry. In this paper, a 0.2 m diameter semi-batch bubble column is numerically simulated and the results are compared to experimental measurements performed by Rampure et al. [1]. The objectives are to examine and determine an appropriate set of numerical parameters and to determine if two-dimensional simulations are able to accurately predict observed bubble phenomena so that the computational cost can be reduced. A two-fluid Eulerian-Eulerian model is employed to represent each phase as interpenetrating continua and the conservation equations for mass and momentum for each phase are ensemble-averaged. Time-averaged gas holdup is mainly examined due to its significant role in gas-liquid mass transfer and to compare to available data. Numerical predictions are presented for gas holdup at various axial heights as a function of radial position for a superficial gas velocity of 0.1 m/s. The numerical predictions exhibit the axial development of the gas holdup profile phenomena; that is, the gas holdup at the center of the column increases with increasing axial height. The effects of grid resolution and convergence criteria on the numerical predictions are also demonstrated.


This is a conference proceeding from ASME 2006 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (2006): 593, doi:10.1115/IMECE2006-13544. Posted with permission.

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