Axial liquid mixing in high-pressure bubble columns



Axial dispersion coefficients of the liquid phase in bubble columns at high pressure are investigated using the thermal dispersion technique. Water and hydrocarbon liquids are used as the liquid phase. The system pressure varies up to 10.3 MPa and the superficial gas velocity varies up to 0.4 cm/s, which covers both the homogeneous bubbling and churn-turbulent flow regimes. Experimental results show that flow regime, system pressure, liquid properties, liquid-phase motion, and column size are the main factors affecting liquid mixing. The axial dispersion coefficient of the liquid phase increases with an increase in gas velocity and decreases with increasing pressure. The effects of gas velocity and pressure on liquid mixing can be explained based on the combined mechanism of global liquid internal circulation and local turbulent fluctuations. The axial liquid dispersion coefficient also increases with increasing liquid velocity due to enhanced liquid-phase turbulence. The scale-up effect on liquid mixing reduces as the pressure increases.