Publications Repository - Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

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Investigation of surfactant effect on the bubble shape and mass transfer in a milli-channel using high-resolution microfocus X-ray imaging

Haghnegahdar, M.; Boden, S.; Hampel, U.


In this paper we present an experimental study on the influence of surface active agents (surfactants) on Taylor bubble flow in a vertical millimeter-size channel. Moreover we give a short review on the subject and previous investigations. We investigated the shape and dissolution rate of individual elongated carbon dioxide Taylor bubbles, which were hydraulically fixed in a downward flow of water. Bubble shape and dissolution rate was determined from microfocus X-ray radiographs. From the shrinking rate we calculated the liquid side mass transfer coefficient.
The results show that the presence of surfactants causes a change of the bubble shape and leads to a slight increase of the liquid film thickness around the bubble and as a result the elongation of contaminated bubbles. In addition, the comparison of clean and contaminated bubbles indicate that presence of surfactant has a more significant impact on the dissolution rate of small bubbles. Furthermore, applying different concentrations of surfactant reveals that in our case, where surface coverage ratio of surfactant on the bubbles is high, increase of contamination does not have a noticeable influence on the mass transfer coefficient of bubbles.

Keywords: Surfactant; Film thickness; Mass transfer; Taylor bubble; Carbon dioxide; Milli-channels

Involved research facilities

  • TOPFLOW Facility