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A kinetic inlet model for CFD simulation of large-scale bubble columns

Shi, Weibin; Yang, Ning; Yang, Xiaogang


Weibin Shi

Ning Yang

Xiaogang Yang


For the simulation of industrial-scale bubble column reactors, while modelling the gas distributor as uniform inlets oversimplifies the inhomogeneity introduced by inlets, the direct simulation of the full geometry of gas distributor or sparger brings about enormous pre-processing work and huge computational cost. A new inlet model is therefore proposed in this paper to simplify the modelling of gas distributor and meanwhile maintain the simulation accuracy. The new inlet model is validated by the comparison of the model prediction with experiments and the CFD simulation incorporating the full geometry of gas distributor for bubble columns of small or large diameters. Comparisons of three different inlet boundary conditions, i.e., the direct simulation of gas distributor, the uniform inlet, and the new inlet model, are made in the simulation of the total gas holdup, the radial profiles of gas holdup at different cross-sections along the column height, and the axial velocity of liquid at various superficial gas velocities. The results indicate that the new inlet model is capable of achieving a good balance between simulation accuracy and computational cost for the CFD simulation of large-scale bubble column reactors.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 6, 2016
Online Publication Date Oct 7, 2016
Publication Date Feb 2, 2017
Deposit Date Oct 25, 2017
Journal Chemical Engineering Science
Print ISSN 0009-2509
Electronic ISSN 1873-4405
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 158
Keywords CFD modelling; Bubble columns; DBS drag mode; Gas distributor; New inlet model; Large-scale
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