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Keywords:

  • coalescence efficiency;
  • bubble dynamics;
  • bubble size distribution;
  • bubble column;
  • population balance equation (PBE)

Abstract

Bubble size distribution was modelled by employing the population balance equation (PBE). All three bubble coalescence mechanisms (turbulence, buoyancy and laminar shear) and the main bubble breakup mechanism (breakup due to turbulent eddies) were considered in the model. Local bubble size distributions at the top and bottom of the column were obtained by solving this PBE. The results were compared with the experimental data for seven independent multiphase systems (water/air, isomax diesel/air, kerosene/air and four other liquid mixture/air) at two diverse gas velocities. The experimental adjustable constant in the coalescence efficiency function was determined by fitting the population balance to the experimental bubble size distributions. An empirical correlation was proposed for the coalescence efficiency by the dimensional analysis, which includes Reynolds and Weber numbers. © 2011 Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering