Spray-to-bubbly transition for distillation systems containing two liquid phases



The tray hydrodynamics were determined for a system containing water and kerosene as immiscible liquids. Plates with hole diameters ranging from 3.18 to 12.70 mm were used in a 44.5-cm2 perspex air-water-kerosene simulator. Experiments were also carried out in a 50-mm-ID column using different depths of oil and water mixtures to study the drop and bubble mechanisms. A spray-to-bubble transition occurred for the two liquid-phase system experiments. The liquid holdup at the transition increased directly with gas velocity and hole diameter, and decreased with increasing free area. At the same hole velocity, the presence of two liquid phases caused the transition to occur at different liquid holdups than for the single pure liquid. Two different modes of coalescence were observed in the small column work. New correlations have been proposed for the liquid holdup at the transition which allow for the presence of two liquid phases.