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Keywords:

  • airlift;
  • hydrodynamics;
  • two-fluid model;
  • turbulence;
  • computational fluid dynamics

Abstract

Gas dispersion in an airlift reactor focusing on the closure law on turbulent contribution of added mass is presented. A data bank for bubbly flow in an airlift reactor is presented. The liquid velocity is measured by hot film anemometry and gas fraction and velocity are measured with an optical probe. The sensitivity of numerical simulations of gas dispersion to the modeling of turbulent contribution of added mass is shown. Without the turbulent contribution, the bubbles move toward the region where the turbulence is high and the pressure is low. When the turbulent contribution is introduced, the bubble migration towards the low pressure region is counter-balanced and the void fraction profile is significantly modified. The modeling of the turbulent contribution of added mass is expressed in terms of the turbulent correlations in the gas phase, uGiuGj, that can be related to the Reynolds stress in the liquid phase, uiuj. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2011