Influence of the Size of Heat Exchanging Internals on the Gas Holdup Distribution in a Bubble Column using Gamma-Ray Computed Tomography


The effects of the presence of the vertical internals of different sizes at a wide range of superficial gas velocity on the overall, local gas holdup distributions and their profiles have been studied and quantified in a 6-in. (0.14 m) Plexiglas® bubble column with air-water system using a non-invasive advanced gamma-ray computed tomography (CT) technique. In this study, two sizes of Plexiglas® vertical internals, having the same occupying area (∼25%) of the column's cross-sectional area (CSA) that represents those used in Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, have been used within a range of superficial gas velocities that cover bubbly and churn turbulent flow regimes (0.05-0.45 m/s). The reconstructed CT scan images revealed that the bubble columns equipped with or without internals displayed a uniform cross-sectional gas holdup distribution (symmetric) for all studied superficial gas velocities. However, the bubble column equipped with 1-in. vertical internals exhibited more uniform gas holdup distribution than the column with 0.5-in. internals. Also, the visualization of the gas-liquid distributions for bubble columns with and without internals reveal that the well-known phenomenon of the core-annular liquid circulation pattern that observed in the bubble column without internals still exists in bubble column packed densely with vertical internals. Moreover, a remarkable increase in the gas holdup values at the wall region was achieved in the churn turbulent flow regime based on the insertion of the vertical internals inside the column as compared with using a bubble column without obstacles. Furthermore, the values of the gas holdup in the core region of the bubble column with vertical internals are similar to those of the bubble column without vertical internals when they are operated at high superficial gas velocity (churn turbulent flow regime), based on the free cross-sectional area (CSA) for the flow. In general, the magnitude of the gas holdup increased significantly with increasing superficial gas velocity for the bubble columns with and without internals. However, the gas holdup profile was shaped like a wavy line in the bubble column with vertical internals, whereas it exhibited a parabolic gas holdup profile in the bubble column without obstacles.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for High Performance Computing Research

Keywords and Phrases

Air; Computerized Tomography; Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis; Gamma Rays; Gases; Turbulent Flow; Velocity; Churn-Turbulent Flow Regime; Cross-Sectional Areas; Gamma-Ray Computed Tomographies; Gas Hold-Up Distribution; Gas-Liquid Distribution; Internals Size; Liquid Circulation; Superficial Gas Velocities; Bubble Columns; Computed Tomography (CT); Gas Holdup Distribution

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2018 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Aug 2018