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2 Publications
Fluid dynamics of bubbly flows
Ziegenhein, T.ORC
Bubbly flows can be found in many applications in chemical, biological and power engineering. Reliable simulation tools of such flows that allow the design of new processes and optimization of existing one are therefore highly desirable. CFD-simulations applying the multi-fluid approach are very promising to provide such a design tool for complete facilities. In the multi-fluid approach, however, closure models have to be formulated to model the interaction between the continuous and dispersed phase. Due to the complex nature of bubbly flows, different phenomena have to be taken into account and for every phenomenon different closure models exist. Therefore, reliable predictions of unknown bubbly flows are not yet possible with the multi-fluid approach.
A strategy to overcome this problem is to define a baseline model in which the closure models including the model constants are fixed so that the limitations of the modeling can be evaluated by validating it on different experiments. Afterwards, the shortcomings are identified so that the baseline model can be stepwise improved without losing the validity for the already validated cases. This development of a baseline model is done in the present work by validating the baseline model developed at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf mainly basing on experimental data for bubbly pipe flows to bubble columns, bubble plumes and airlift reactors that are relevant in chemical and biological engineering applications.
In the present work, a large variety of such setups is used for validation. The buoyancy driven bubbly flows showed thereby a transient behavior on the scale of the facility. Since such large scales are characterized by the geometry of the facility, turbulence models cannot describe them. Therefore, the transient simulation of bubbly flows with two equation models based on the unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equations is investigated. In combination with the before mentioned baseline model these transient simulations can reproduce many experimental setups without fitting any model. Nevertheless, shortcomings are identified that need to be further investigated to improve the baseline model.
For a validation of models, experiments that describe as far as possible all relevant phenomena of bubbly flows are needed. Since such data are rare in the literature, CFD-grade experiments in an airlift reactor were conducted in the present work. Concepts to measure the bubble size distribution and liquid velocities are developed for this purpose. In particular, the liquid velocity measurements are difficult; a sampling bias that was not yet described in the literature is identified. To overcome this error, a hold processor is developed.
The closure models are usually formulated based on single bubble experiments in simplified conditions. In particular, the lift force was not yet measured in low Morton number systems under turbulent conditions. A new experimental method is developed in the present work to determine the lift force coefficient in such flow conditions without the aid of moving parts so that the lift force can be measured in any chemical system easily.
Keywords: Bubbly flows, Fluid Dynamics, CFD, PTV, PIV, Lift-force, Bubble column
  • Doctoral thesis
    TU Berlin, 2016
  • Open Access LogoWissenschaftlich-Technische Berichte / Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf; HZDR-074 2016

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