Experimental investigation of the effect of liquid viscosity on slug flow in small diameter bubble column
Olumayowa Timothy Kajero*, Barry John Azzopardi** and Lokman Abdulkareem***
Process and Environmental Engineering Research Division, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, University Park, NG7 2RD, United Kingdom
Published online: 16 April 2012
The effect of liquid viscosity on slug flow in a 50 mm diameter bubble column was investigated experimentally using air-silicone oil as operating fluid with silicone oil of viscosities 5, 100, 1000 and 5000 mPa.s. Data was collected using Electrical Capacitance Tomography (ECT), a non-intrusive advanced instrumentation measuring technique and the high Speed Video Camera, through which the slug parameters such as length of Taylor bubbles and liquid slug, void fraction in Taylor bubbles and liquid slug, slug frequency, film thickness and pressure gradient in the slug, were measured and analyzed. The analysis was done using the void fraction time series, probability density function and power spectral density plots. Superficial gas velocities of 0.02≤Ugs≤0.361 m/s were used in the experiment. It was also observed that as viscosity increases, slug frequency, structure velocity, length of liquid slug, void fraction in liquid slug and void fraction in Taylor bubbles decreases; while the length of Taylor bubble, film thickness and pressure gradient in the slug increases.
Key words: ECT / Slug / Void fraction / Taylor bubble / Pressure gradient
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2012