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Abstract

Design procedures for gas sparged contractors for both low and high viscosity liquids were developed to predict overall kLa. Bubble size close to the orifice, for moderately high gas rates, was found to increase at a rate proportional to one third power of gas rate and one tenth power of liquid viscosity. Bubble breakup phenomenon was shown to be related to liquid turbulence in the vessel rather than gas turbulence in the orifice. Procedures were developed through a simple liquid circulation model to obtain a criterion for the onset of bubble breakup. Results indicate that intense liquid mixing and high interfacial area can be achieved in low viscosity liquids by gas sparging alone. In high viscosity fluids, bubble breakup was not observed. The liquid circulation model predicts laminar flow at these experimental conditions over the complete range of gas rates observed.