Comparative Study of Mass Transfer and Bubble Hydrodynamic Parameters in Bubble Column Reactor: Physical Configurations and Operating Conditions

  • Sastaravet, Prajak (Department of Environmental Engineering, Chulalongkorn Universisty) ;
  • Chuenchaem, Chomthisa (International Postgraduate Programs in Environmental Management, Chulalongkorn University) ;
  • Thaphet, Nawaporn (International Postgraduate Programs in Environmental Management, Chulalongkorn University) ;
  • Chawaloesphonsiya, Nattawin (International Postgraduate Programs in Environmental Management, Chulalongkorn University) ;
  • Painmanakul, Pisut (Department of Environmental Engineering, Chulalongkorn Universisty)
  • Received : 2014.07.21
  • Accepted : 2014.10.31
  • Published : 2014.12.31


In this paper, effects of physical configurations and operating conditions on bubble column performance were analyzed in terms of bubble hydrodynamic and mass transfer parameters. Bubble column with 3 different dimensions and 7 gas diffusers (single / multiple orifice and rigid / flexible orifice) were applied. High speed camera and image analysis program were used for analyzing the bubble hydrodynamic parameters. The local liquid-side mass transfer coefficient ($k_L$) was estimated from the volumetric mass transfer coefficient ($k_La$) and the interfacial area (a), which was deduced from the bubble diameter ($D_B$) and the terminal bubble rising velocity ($U_B$). The result showed that the values of kLa and a increased with the superficial gas velocity (Vg) and the size of bubble column. Influences of gas diffuser physical property (orifice size, thickness and orifice number) can be proven on the generated bubble size and the mass transfer performance in bubble column. Concerning the variation of $k_L$ coefficients with bubble size, 3 zones (Zone A, B and C) can be observed. For Zone A and Zone C, a good agreement between the experimental and the predicted $K_L$ coefficients was obtained (average difference of ${\pm}15%$), whereas the inaccuracy result (of ${\pm}40%$) was found in Zone B. To enhance the high $k_La$ coefficient and absorption efficiency in bubble column, it was unnecessary to generate numerous fine bubbles at high superficial gas velocity since it causes high power consumption with the great decrease of $k_L$ coefficients.


Supported by : National Research University


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