Influence of elevated pressure and particle lyophobicity on hydrodynamics and gas–liquid mass transfer in slurry bubble columns

Authors

  • Vinit P. Chilekar,

    1. Laboratory of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
    Current affiliation:
    1. Polymer Process Development Group GKE/D, Global Polymer Research, BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany
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  • John van der Schaaf,

    1. Laboratory of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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  • Ben F. M. Kuster,

    1. Laboratory of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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  • Johan T. Tinge,

    1. Industrial Chemicals Chemistry and Technology, DSM Research, P.O. Box 18, 6160 MD Geleen, The Netherlands
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  • Jaap C. Schouten

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
    • Laboratory of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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Abstract

This article reports on the influence of elevated pressure and catalyst particle lyophobicity at particle concentrations up to 3 vol % on the hydrodynamics and the gas-to-liquid mass transfer in a slurry bubble column. The study was done with demineralized water (aqueous phase) and Isopar-M oil (organic phase) slurries in a 0.15 m internal diameter bubble column operated at pressures ranging from 0.1 to 1.3 MPa. The overall gas hold-up, the flow regime transition point, the average large bubble diameter, and the centerline liquid velocity were measured along with the gas–liquid mass transfer coefficient. The gas hold-up and the flow regime transition point are not influenced by the presence of lyophilic particles. Lyophobic particles shift the regime transition to a higher gas velocity and cause foam formation. Increasing operating pressure significantly increases the gas hold-up and the regime transition velocity, irrespective of the particle lyophobicity. The gas–liquid mass transfer coefficient is proportional to the gas hold-up for all investigated slurries and is not affected by the particle lyophobicity, the particle concentration, and the operating pressure. A correlation is presented to estimate the gas–liquid mass transfer coefficient as a function of the measured gas hold-up: equation image. © 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2010

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