Numerical simulation of small bubble-big bubble-liquid three-phase flows

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Zhang, D. and Deen, N.G. and Kuipers, J.A.M. (2006) Numerical simulation of small bubble-big bubble-liquid three-phase flows. In: CHISA 17th international congress of chemical and process engineering, 27-31 August 2006, Prague.

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Abstract:Numerical simulations of the small bubble-big bubble-liquid three phase heterogeneous flow
in a square cross-sectioned bubble column were carried out with the commercial CFD
package CFX-4.4 to explore the effect of superficial velocity and inlet dispersed phase
fractions on the flow patterns. The approach of Krishna et al. (2000) was adopted in the
Euler-Euler framework to numerically simulate the gas-liquid heterogeneous flow in bubble
columns. On basis of an earlier study (Zhang et al. 2005), the extended multiphase k - ε
turbulence model (Pfleger and Becker, 2001) was chosen to model the turbulent viscosity in
the liquid phase and implicitly account for the bubble-induced turbulence. The obtained
results suggest that, first of all, the extended multiphase k - ε turbulence model of Pfleger and
Becker (2001) is capable of capturing the dynamics of the heterogeneous flow. With
increasing superficial velocity, the dynamics of the flow, as well as the total gas hold-up
increases. It is observed that with increasing inlet phase fraction of the big bubbles, the total
gas holdup decreases while the dynamic nature of the flow increases, which indicates that the
small bubble phase mainly determines the total gas holdup while the big bubble phase
predominantly agitates the liquid.
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