Hydrodynamics Investigation of Laboratory-Scale Internal Gas-Lift Loop Anaerobic Digester using Non-Invasive CAPRT Technique


Internal gas-lift loop reactor (IGLR) was used as an anaerobic digester and its hydrodynamics were studied using Computer Automated Radioactive Particle Tracking (CARPT) Technique. This paper deals with the experimental study on a laboratory-scale digester. An anaerobic digester is a three-phase system consisting of gas, liquid, and solids; however solid-liquid slurry was treated as a single phase due to smaller size and lower density of solids. The effect of various geometric and operating variables on the hydrodynamics was studied. The superficial gas velocity was maintained at very low values and IGLR was operated in bubbly flow regime, which is suitable for operation of anaerobic digesters. The flow pattern and liquid velocity profile was obtained and effect of gas superficial velocity, draft tube diameter, type of sparger on liquid velocity and dead volume was studied in detail. Mean circulation times were calculated and compared for different digester configurations. Results showed that the increasing gas velocity increases the liquid velocity, decreases circulation time but does not offer any significant advantages in reducing the dead volumes. The configuration with draft tube diameter to tank diameter ratio of 0.5 showed good liquid circulation throughout the digester volume and low mean circulation time implying better mixing.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Anaerobic Digestion; Bubble Columns; Flow Patterns; Fluid Dynamics; Fluidized Beds; Gas Lifts; Gases; Hydraulic Turbines; Hydrodynamics; Liquids; Mixing; Velocity; Circulation Time; Computer Automated Radioactive Particle Tracking; Dead Volumes; Draft Tubes; Laboratory Scale Digesters; Liquid Velocity Profiles; Sparger; Superficial Gas Velocities; Pulp Digesters; Anoxic Conditions; Automation; Digestibility; Experimental Study; Gas Flow; Laboratory Method; Mixing; Radioactivity; Slurry; Velocity Profile; Volume Change; Mean Circulation Time

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Article - Journal

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© 2016 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2016