Experiments and CFD simulation of mass transfer and hydrodynamics in a cylindrical bubble column

Jiaqi Chen, Caleb S. Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Flow visualization, Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and dissolved oxygen charging experiments are carried out in a small-scale cylindrical air-water bubble column at different superficial gas velocities. Void fraction profile, total gas holdup, liquid phase velocity field and volumetric mass transfer coefficient are obtained. Details of each experiment are given, with a new procedure for obtaining a 2D void fraction profile from flow visualization by image processing and time averaging which could provide useful information for CFD model validation. The experimental results are analyzed and compared with simulations where good agreement is found for both local and global flow patterns. The averaged governing equations and constitutive relations used in the simulation are discussed briefly, with emphasis on the proper comparison between simulations and experiments based on the derivation of the two-fluid model. By conducting three sets of experiments related to phase distribution, velocity field and mass transfer in the same apparatus, a validated CFD model for multiphase mass transfer is established and can be used in the future design of a multi-phase reactor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116435
JournalChemical Engineering Science
StatePublished - Apr 28 2021


  • Bubble Column
  • CFD
  • Mass transfer
  • PIV
  • Visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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