Doctoral Dissertations

Keywords and Phrases

Bubble Column; Bubble Dynamics; Fischer-Tropsch; Heat Transfer Coefficient; Scale-Up


"Synthesis gas, a mixture of CO and H₂ obtained from coal, natural gas and biomass are increasingly becoming reliable sources of clean synthetic fuels and chemicals and via Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) synthesis process. Slurry bubble column reactor is the reactor of choice for the commercialization of the F-T synthesis. Even though the slurry bubble column reactors and contactors are simple in structures, their design, scale-up, operation, and performance prediction are still challenging and not well understood due to complex interaction of phases. All the studies of heat transfer have been performed without simultaneously investigating the bubble dynamics adjacent to the heat transfer surfaces, particularly in slurry with dense internals. This dissertation focuses on enhancing the understanding of the role of local and overall gas holdup, bubble passage frequency, bubble sizes and bubble velocity on the heat transfer characteristics by means of a hybrid measurement technique comprising an advanced four-point optical probe and a fast response heat transfer probe used simultaneously, in the presence and absence of dense internals. It also seeks to advance a mechanistic approach for estimating the needed parameters for predicting the heat transfer rate in two phase and three phase systems. The results obtained suggest that the smaller diameter internals gives higher heat transfer coefficient, higher local and overall gas holdup, bubble passage frequency and specific interfacial area but smaller bubble sizes and lower axial bubble velocities. The presence of dense internals enhances the heat transfer coefficient in both the large and smaller columns, while increased column diameter increases the heat transfer coefficient, axial bubble velocity, local and overall gas holdup, bubble chord lengths and specific interfacial area. Addition of solids (glass beads) leads to increased bubble chord lengths and increase in axial bubble velocity, but a decrease in local and overall gas holdup, a decrease in bubble passage frequency and decrease in the heat transfer coefficient. Further, a mechanistic assessment of the dependence of the heat transfer coefficient on the bubble dynamics shows that the contact time needed in the heat transfer coefficient estimation is indeed a function of the bubble passage frequency and local gas holdup. Hence the variation of the heat transfer coefficient with contact time is via bubble passage frequency and local gas phase holdup, which are related with sizes and velocity"--Abstract, page iii.


Al-Dahhan, Muthanna H.

Committee Member(s)

Neogi, P. (Partho), 1951-
Smith, Joseph D.
Ludlow, Douglas K.
Usman, Shoaib


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2013


xxiv, 269 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references.


© 2013 Moses Odongo O. Kagumba, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Bubbles -- Dynamics -- Models
Bubbles -- Dynamics -- Computer simulation
Fischer-Tropsch process -- Models
Fischer-Tropsch process -- Computer simulation
Nusselt number -- Models
Nusselt number -- Computer simulation

Thesis Number

T 10315

Electronic OCLC #