This research study investigates bubble and liquid circulation patterns in a vertical column photobioreactor (PBR) both experimentally as well as computationally using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Dispersed gas-liquid flow in the rectangular bubble column PBR are modeled using Eulerian-Lagrangian approach. A low Reynolds number k-epsilon CFD model is used to describe the flow pattern near the wall. A flat surface bubble column PBR is used to achieve sufficient light penetration into the system. Bubble size distribution measurements were completed using a high-speed digital camera. Operating parameters, bubble flow patterns, and internal hydrodynamics of a bubble column reactor were studied, and the numerical simulations presented for the hydrodynamics in a bubble column PBR account for bubble phenomena that have not been sufficiently accounted for in previous research. Bubble size and shape affect the hydrodynamics as does bubble interaction with other bubbles (multiple bubbles in a flow versus single bubbles and wall effects on bubble(s) that are not symmetrical or bubbles not centered on the reactor cross-section). Understanding the bubble movement patterns will aid in predicting other design parameters like mass transfer (bubble to liquid and liquid to bubble), heat transfer (within the PBR and between the PBR and environment surrounding the PBR), and interaction forces inside the PBR. The computational results are validated with experimental data and from current literature.

References

References
1.
Pruvost
,
J.
,
Legrand
,
J.
,
Legentilhomme
,
P.
, and
Muller-Feuga
,
A.
, 2002, “
Simulation of Microalgae Growth in Limiting Light Conditions: Flow Effect
,”
AIChE J.
,
48
(
5
), pp.
1109
1120
.
2.
Pruvost
,
J.
,
Pottier
,
L.
, and
Legrand
,
J.
, 2006, “
Numerical Investigation of Hydrodynamic and Mixing Conditions in a Torus Photobioreactor
,”
Chem. Eng. Sci.
,
61
(
14
), pp.
4476
4490
.
3.
Luo
,
H.-P.
, and
Al-Dahhan
,
M. H.
, 2004, “
Analyzing and Modeling of Photobioreactors by Combining First Principles of Physiology and Hydrodynamics
,”
Biotechnol. Bioeng.
,
85
(
4
), pp.
382
393
.
4.
Sato
,
T.
,
Usui
,
S.
,
Tsuchiya
,
Y.
, and
Kondo
,
Y.
, 2006, “
Invention of Outdoor Closed Type Photobioreactor for Microalgae
,”
Energy Convers. Manage.
,
47
(
6
), pp.
791
799
.
5.
Yu
,
G.
,
Li
,
Y.
,
Shen
,
G.
,
Wang
,
W.
,
Lin
,
C.
,
Wu
,
H.
, and
Chen
,
Z.
, 2009, “
A Novel Method Using CFD to Optimize the Inner Structure Parameters of Flat Photobioreactors
,”
J. Appl. Phycol.
,
21
(
6
), pp.
719
727
.
7.
Kommareddy
,
A.
, and
Anderson
,
G.
, 2004, “
Analysis of Currents and Mixing in a Modified Bubble Column Reactor
,” 2004
ASAE/CSAE Annual International Meeting Fairmont Chateau Laurier
,
Government Centre
,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
.
8.
Sánchez Mirón
,
A.
,
García Camacho
,
F.
,
Contreras Gómez
,
A.
,
Grima
,
E. M.
, and
Chisti
,
Y.
, 2000, “
Bubble-Column and Airlift Photobioreactors for Algal Culture
,”
AIChE J.
,
46
(
9
), pp.
1872
1887
.
9.
Rosello Sastre
,
R.
,
Csogor
,
Z.
,
Perner-Nochta
,
I.
,
Fleck-Schneider
,
P.
, and
Posten
,
C.
, 2007, “
Scale-Down of Microalgae Cultivations in Tubular Photo-Bioreactors-A Conceptual Approach
,”
J. Biotechnol.
,
132
(
2
), pp.
127
133
.
10.
Perner
,
I.
,
Posten
,
C.
, and
Broneske
,
J.
, 2003, “
CFD Optimization of a Plate Photobioreactor Used for Cultivation of Microalgae
,”
Eng. Life Sci.
,
3
(
7
), pp.
287
291
.
11.
Dhotre
,
M. T.
, and
Joshi
,
J. B.
, 2004, “
Two-Dimensional CFD Model for the Prediction of Flow Pattern, Pressure Drop and Heat Transfer Coefficient in Bubble Column Reactors
,”
Chem. Eng. Res. Des.
,
82
(
6
), pp.
689
707
.
12.
Shimizu
,
K.
,
Takada
,
S.
,
Minekawa
,
K.
, and
Kawase
,
Y.
, 2000, “
Phenomenological Model for Bubble Column Reactors: Prediction of Gas Hold-Ups and Volumetric Mass Transfer Coefficients
,”
Chem. Eng. J.
,
78
(
1
), pp.
21
28
.
13.
Buwa
,
V. V.
, and
Ranade
,
V. V.
, 2002, “
Dynamics of Gas-Liquid Flow in a Rectangular Bubble Column: Experiments and Single/Multi-Group CFD Simulations
,”
Chem. Eng. Sci.
,
57
(
22-23
), pp.
4715
4736
.
14.
Vitankar
,
V. S.
,
Dhotre
,
M. T.
, and
Joshi
,
J. B.
, 2002, “
A Low Reynolds Number k-Epsilon Model for the Prediction of Flow Pattern and Pressure Drop in Bubble Column Reactors
,”
Chem. Eng. Sci.
,
57
(
16
), pp.
3235
3250
.
15.
Dhotre
,
M. T.
, and
Joshi
,
J. B.
, 2007, “
Design of a Gas Distributor: Three-Dimensional CFD Simulation of a Coupled System Consisting of a Gas Chamber and a Bubble Column
,”
Chem. Eng. J.
,
125
(
3
), pp.
149
164
.
16.
Simonnet
,
M.
,
Gentric
,
C.
,
Olmos
,
E.
, and
Midoux
,
N.
, 2008, “
CFD Simulation of the Flow Field in a Bubble Column Reactor: Importance of the Drag Force Formulation to Describe Regime Transitions
,”
Chem. Eng. Process.
,
47
(
9-10
), pp.
1726
1737
.
17.
Dhotre
,
M. T.
,
Vitankar
,
V. S.
, and
Joshi
,
J. B.
, 2005, “
CFD Simulation of Steady State Heat Transfer in Bubble Columns
,”
Chem. Eng. J.
,
108
(
1-2
), pp.
117
125
.
18.
Sato
,
T.
,
Yamada
,
D.
, and
Hirabayashi
,
S.
, 2010, “
Development of Virtual Photobioreactor for Microalgae Culture Considering Turbulent Flow and Flashing Light Effect
,”
Energy Convers. Manage.
,
51
(
6
), pp.
1196
1201
.
19.
Sokolichin
,
A.
, and
Eigenberger
,
G.
, 1994, “
Gas-Liquid Flow in Bubble Columns and Loop Reactors: Part I. Detailed Modelling and Numerical Simulation
,”
Chem. Eng. Sci.
,
49
(
24
), pp.
5735
5746
.
20.
Henkes
,
R. A. W. M.
,
Van Der Vlugt
,
F. F.
, and
Hoogendoorn
,
C. J.
, 1991, “
Natural-Convection Flow in a Square Cavity Calculated With Low-Reynolds-Number Turbulence Models
,”
Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer
,
34
(
2
), pp.
377
388
.
21.
Sarkar
,
S.
, and
Balakrishnan
,
L.
, 1990, “
Application of a Reynolds-Stress Turbulence Model to the Compressible Shear Layer
,” ICASE Report No. 90-18, NASA CR 182002.
22.
Wolfshtein
,
M.
, 1969, “
The Velocity and Temperature Distribution in One-Dimensional Flow With Turbulence Augmentation and Pressure Gradient
,”
Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer
,
12
(
3
), pp.
301
318
.
23.
Schiller
,
L.
, and
Naumann
,
A.
, 1933, “
Ueber die grundlegenden Berechnungen bei der Schwerkraftaufbereitung
,”
VDI Z.
,
77
(
12
), pp.
318
320
.
24.
Perner-Nochta
,
I.
, and
Posten
,
C.
, 2007, “
Simulations of Light Intensity Variation in Photobioreactors
,”
J. Biotechnol.
,
131
(
3
), pp.
276
285
.
You do not currently have access to this content.