Gas holdup and superficial liquid velocity in the downcomer and riser are studied for an external loop airlift reactor with an area ratio of 1:16. Two downcomer configurations are investigated consisting of the downcomer open or closed to the atmosphere. Experiments for these two configurations are carried out over a range of superficial gas velocities from UG = 0.5 to 20 cm/s using three aeration plates with open area ratios of 0.62, 0.99 and 2.22%. These results are compared to a bubble column operated with similar operating conditions. Experimental results show that the gas holdup in the riser does not vary significantly with a change in the downcomer configuration or bubble column operation, while a considerable variation is observed in the downcomer gas holdup. Gas holdup in both the riser and downcomer are found to increase with increasing superficial gas velocity. Test results also show that the maximum gas holdup for the three aerator plates is similar, but the gas holdup trends are different. The superficial liquid velocity is found to vary considerably for the two downcomer configurations. However, for both cases the superficial liquid velocity is a function of the superficial gas velocity and/or the flow condition in the downcomer. These observed variations are independent of the aerator plate open area ratio. When the downcomer vent is open to the atmosphere, the superficial liquid velocity is initially observed to increase with increasing superficial gas velocity until the onset of choking occurs in the downcomer. Increasing the superficial gas velocity beyond the onset of choking increases the effect of choking and decreases the superficial liquid velocity. Once maximum choking is reached, the superficial liquid velocity becomes independent of the superficial gas velocity. When the downcomer vent is closed to the atmosphere, the superficial liquid velocity is initially observed to decrease with increasing superficial gas velocity as choking in the downcomer is immediately present. Once maximum choking occurs, the superficial liquid velocity once again becomes independent of the superficial gas velocity.
- Fluids Engineering Division
The Effect of a Modified Downcomer on the Hydrodynamics in an External Loop Airlift Reactor
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Jones, ST, & Heindel, TJ. "The Effect of a Modified Downcomer on the Hydrodynamics in an External Loop Airlift Reactor." Proceedings of the ASME 2006 2nd Joint U.S.-European Fluids Engineering Summer Meeting Collocated With the 14th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering. Volume 1: Symposia, Parts A and B. Miami, Florida, USA. July 17–20, 2006. pp. 1779-1786. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/FEDSM2006-98011
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