Influence of the gas—liquid separator design on hydrodynamic and mass transfer performance of split-channel airlift reactors

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Abstract

Three geometric configurations of gas–liquid separators were used in split-channel airlift reactors (0·1 m3 liquid volume; riser-to-downcomer cross-sectional area ratio = 0·7; aspect ratio = 3.6) to test the effect of geometry on hydrodynamic performance and oxygen transfer behaviour. For otherwise fixed conditions, the design of gas–liquid separators affected the induced liquid circulation rate, the depth of penetration of the bubble layer in the downcomer, the gas holdup in the downcomer, the mixing time and the overall volumetric gas–liquid oxygen transfer coefficient. The gas holdup in the riser was only marginally affected by the design of the separator. The impact of the various separator designs on hydrodynamic behaviour could be explained as emanating from a combination of the gas–liquid separating ability of the design and its hydraulic resistance.

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