Published: CABEQ 21 (3) (2007) 197–205
Paper type: Original Scientific Paper

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CFD Modeling of Three-phase Bubble Column: 1. Study of Flow Pattern

M. Anil, V. K. Agarwal, M. Siraj Alam and K. L. Wasewar

Bubble column (BC) or slurry bubble column (SBC) reactor has emerged as one of the most promising devices in chemical, biochemical and environmental engineering operations because of its simple construction, isothermal conditions, high heat and mass transfer rates, and on-line catalyst addition and withdrawal. The present work has been carried out to characterize the dynamics of three-phase flow in cylindrical bubble column, run under homogeneous bubble flow and heterogeneous flow conditions using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulation. The investigation has been done to study the flow pattern of three-phase bubble column along with parametric studies. The simulations were performed for air-water-glass beads in a bubble column of H = 0.6 m height, Di = 0.1 m and ds = 0.05 m sparger diameter to study the flow pattern. Eulerian-Eulerian three-phase simulations with k-ε turbulence for liquid phase were carried out using the commercial flow simulation software CFX-5.6, with a focus on characterizing the dynamics properties of gas liquid solid flows. The model has been validated using available experimental data and is in good agreement. Detail study of the flow pattern in three-phase bubble column has been carried out and flow pattern has been presented in the form of contour and vector plots. The results presented are useful for understanding the dynamics of gas liquid solid flows in bubble column and provide a basis for further development of CFD model for three phase systems.

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CFD, bubble column, Euler-Euler model, three phase reactor