Journal of Chemical Engineering & Process Technology

Journal of Chemical Engineering & Process Technology
Open Access

ISSN: 2157-7048


A Numerical Model for Bubble Column Reactors: Prediction of the Fractional Gas Holdup by the Implementation of the Drift-Flux Model

Azadeh Bahramian* and Siamak Elyasi

Comprehensive knowledge of hydrodynamics inside a reactor is crucial for the design and scale-up of bubble columns. Fractional gas holdup (αg) is an important parameter that should be obtained for the design of bubble column reactors. The estimation of this parameter depends mainly on experimental procedures. Drift-flux theory is one of the most practical and accurate models for calculating the gas holdup. Although many researchers have studied bubble column reactors, because of the limits of the experimental setting, there are few studies that have operated over a wide range of superficial gas velocities. In this work, a transient 3-D numerical simulation of upward air-water flow in the bubble column was performed over a wide range of superficial gas velocities (0.025-0.4 m/s) using the Eulerian-Eulerian model. The effect of the superficial gas velocity on the flow pattern was simulated, and two-phase flow regimes were classified into homogeneous, transition and heterogeneous regimes. Considering the importance of the drift-flux model, the values of the distribution parameter and the drift velocity were computed according to their definitions using the cross-sectional gas holdup and velocity profiles obtained via computational flow dynamic simulation. The results were verified against the experimental data, and a correlation is proposed for predicting the gas holdup.

Published Date: 2019-08-05; Received Date: 2019-06-27