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ChemEngineering, Volume 2, Issue 2 (June 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The volumetric mass transfer coefficient, kLa, is a key parameter in the design of multiphase [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview Exergy Evaluation of Desalination Processes
ChemEngineering 2018, 2(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering2020028
Received: 31 March 2018 / Revised: 22 May 2018 / Accepted: 6 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
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Abstract
Desalination of sea or brackish water sources to provide clean water supplies has now become a feasible option around the world. Escalating global populations have caused the surge of desalination applications. Desalination processes are energy intensive which results in a significant energy portfolio
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Desalination of sea or brackish water sources to provide clean water supplies has now become a feasible option around the world. Escalating global populations have caused the surge of desalination applications. Desalination processes are energy intensive which results in a significant energy portfolio and associated environmental pollution for many communities. Both electrical and heat energy required for desalination processes have been reduced significantly over the recent years. However, the energy demands are still high and are expected to grow sharply with increasing population. Desalination technologies utilize various forms of energy to produce freshwater. While the process efficiency can be reported by the first law of thermodynamic analysis, this is not a true measure of the process performance as it does not account for all losses of energy. Accordingly, the second law of thermodynamics has been more useful to evaluate the performance of desalination systems. The second law of thermodynamics (exergy analysis) accounts for the available forms of energy in the process streams and energy sources with a reference environment and identifies the major losses of exergy destruction. This aids in developing efficient desalination processes by eliminating the hidden losses. This paper elaborates on exergy analysis of desalination processes to evaluate the thermodynamic efficiency of major components and process streams and identifies suitable operating conditions to minimize exergy destruction. Well-established MSF, MED, MED-TVC, RO, solar distillation, and membrane distillation technologies were discussed with case studies to illustrate the exergy performances. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Development and Analyses of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-Based Models for the Flow Boiling Heat Transfer Coefficient of R600a in a Mini-Channel
ChemEngineering 2018, 2(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering2020027
Received: 6 April 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
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Abstract
Environmental friendly refrigerants with zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and zero global warming potential (GWP) are in great demand across the globe. One such popular refrigerant is isobutane (R600a) which, having zero ODP and negligible GWP, is considered in this study. This paper
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Environmental friendly refrigerants with zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and zero global warming potential (GWP) are in great demand across the globe. One such popular refrigerant is isobutane (R600a) which, having zero ODP and negligible GWP, is considered in this study. This paper presents the two most popular artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, namely support vector regression (SVR) and artificial neural networks (ANN), to predict the heat transfer coefficient of refrigerant R600a. The independent input parameters of the models include mass flux, saturation temperature, heat flux, and vapor fraction. The heat transfer coefficient of R600a is the dependent output parameter. The prediction performance of these AI-based models is compared and validated against the experimental results, as well as with the existing correlations based on the statistical parameters. The SVR model based on the structural risk minimization (SRM) principle is observed to be superior compared with the other models and is more accurate, precise, and highly generalized; it has the lowest average absolute relative error (AARE) at 1.15% and the highest coefficient of determination (R2) at 0.9981. ANN gives an AARE of 5.14% and a R2 value of 0.9685. Furthermore, the simulated results accurately predict the effect of input parameters on the heat transfer coefficient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control and Optimization of Chemical and Biochemical Processes)
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Open AccessArticle Performance of Helical Ribbon and Screw Impellers for Mixing Viscous Fluids in Cylindrical Reactors
ChemEngineering 2018, 2(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering2020026
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 9 May 2018 / Accepted: 3 June 2018 / Published: 11 June 2018
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Abstract
The present paper deals with the mixing of a highly viscous fluid by close-clearance impellers in cylindrical vessels. The study is performed via numerical simulations. Calculations are achieved by the discretization of continuity and momentum equations with the finite volume method. The effect
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The present paper deals with the mixing of a highly viscous fluid by close-clearance impellers in cylindrical vessels. The study is performed via numerical simulations. Calculations are achieved by the discretization of continuity and momentum equations with the finite volume method. The effect of blade diameter and its shape on the well-stirred region size and the power consumption is investigated. For highly viscous fluids, the obtained results suggest the use of impellers rotating at low Reynolds number, and having a blade with the same shape of the tank to ensure mixing near the vessel base. A comparison is made between the performance of a simple helical ribbon (HR), a simple small screw (SS), helical ribbon-small screw (HR-SS) and a large screw (LS) impeller. The predicted results allow the following classification of impellers studied, based on less power requirements and small size of well-agitated region: SS < HR < HR-SS < LS. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Robust Initialization of Rigorous Process Simulations of Multiple Dividing Wall Columns via Vmin Diagrams
ChemEngineering 2018, 2(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering2020025
Received: 3 May 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 28 May 2018 / Published: 4 June 2018
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Abstract
Dividing Wall Columns (DWCs) allow the separation of a ternary mixture in one column shell by applying a vertical partition wall, yielding a reduction of operational and capital costs of up to 30%. Multiple DWC (mDWC), the consequent advancement of standard DWC, makes
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Dividing Wall Columns (DWCs) allow the separation of a ternary mixture in one column shell by applying a vertical partition wall, yielding a reduction of operational and capital costs of up to 30%. Multiple DWC (mDWC), the consequent advancement of standard DWC, makes use of more than one partitioning wall, allowing the separation of quaternary or even higher mixtures in one column shell accompanied by a further reduction of energy consumption. Since no dedicated models for these columns are available in commercial process simulators, thermodynamic consistent flowsheets have to be designed and implemented. The thermally fully coupled Petlyuk arrangement is one important example. However, the initial convergence of these substituting flowsheets is demanding, since a large number of meaningful initial guesses have to be provided. A promising method for generating these first estimates are minimum vapor (Vmin) diagrams. All internal flows can be extracted from these diagrams and used for robust initialization of the simulation. The goal of this work is to present the Vmin method in a comprehensive way in order to initialize mDWC simulations to predict the separation of four component mixtures. Additionally, the adaptation of the diagram to configurations different than Petlyuk arrangements for mDWC is evaluated and a systematic procedure to obtain them is presented. In the end, an example of a converging simulation is given, which was obtained with the values from the Vmin diagram. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Biodegradable Polymers Grafted onto Multifunctional Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles for Gene Delivery
ChemEngineering 2018, 2(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering2020024
Received: 6 April 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 28 May 2018
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Abstract
Biodegradable polymer possesses significant potential for applications in different fields, since flexibility gives rise to materials with great physical and mechanical property diversity. The poly-caprolactone (PCL) and chitosan derivatives (CS) have the ability to form scaffolds, which adhere to the surface of mesoporous
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Biodegradable polymer possesses significant potential for applications in different fields, since flexibility gives rise to materials with great physical and mechanical property diversity. The poly-caprolactone (PCL) and chitosan derivatives (CS) have the ability to form scaffolds, which adhere to the surface of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) and its porous networks. The novel characteristics of the developed PCL/MSNs and CS/MSNs, such as very low in vivo degradation rate, ordered pore network, uniform and tunable size and shape of the particles, high pore volume and surface area, non-toxicity, and biocompatibility, among others, are responsible for its favorable gene delivery device and makes this conjugation a very good biomaterial for this application. In the present study, we investigated the synthesis of silica nanoparticles MCM-41 covalently grafted with PCL and CS and their use as a potential small interfering RNA (siRNA) carrier. The physical–chemical and morphological characterizations, as well as the applicability of functionalized MSNs as platforms for gene delivery, were assessed. Our results confirmed that MSNs that were successfully functionalized with PCL and CS kept their typical morphology and pore arrangement. Furthermore, their surface modification was successfully held. In vitro biocompatibility and cytotoxicity assays suggest the ability of MSNs to support passive uptake and indicated the potential of this material as a gene delivery system for cervical cancer cells (HeLa). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Concentration on Amine-Modified Kenaf as a Sorbent for Carbon Dioxide Adsorption in a Pressure Swing Adsorption System
ChemEngineering 2018, 2(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering2020023
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
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Abstract
Amongst the strategies applicable for CO2 capture and sequestration, the adsorption process has a high potential to be applied as an alternative CO2 separation strategy as it offers large adsorption capacity, requires low energy for regeneration with economical equipment cost, prevents
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Amongst the strategies applicable for CO2 capture and sequestration, the adsorption process has a high potential to be applied as an alternative CO2 separation strategy as it offers large adsorption capacity, requires low energy for regeneration with economical equipment cost, prevents corrosion problems, and provides ease of applicability. Inspired by the most applicable amine-based chemical absorption for CO2 capture, the modification of adsorbent by amine was first considered and then investigated. This study introduces kenaf (Hibiscus Cannabinus L.) as a potential low-cost material in evaluating the effect of amine functional group concentrations on CO2 adsorption capacity. Monoethanolamine (MEA) and tetraethylenepentamine (TEPA) were impregnated on kenaf via a wetness impregnation method to achieve the aim. The ratios of amine to kenaf were varied at 1:2, 7:10, 1:1, 2:1, 5:1, 7:1, and 10:1. Then, the prepared amine-modified kenaf core sorbent was characterized using different morphology and structural characterization techniques such as a field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) analyzer and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Results obtained through the analyses showed that amine (MEA and TEPA) were successfully impregnated on the kenaf core surfaces, and that amine concentrations have a significant effect on the morphological structures of the kenaf core support. The study on CO2 adsorption capacity was conducted in a pressure swing adsorption system (PSA). Results revealed that the highest CO2 adsorption capacity for MEA-modified kenaf adsorbent was achieved at an amine to kenaf ratio of 1:1 (2.070 mmol/g), while for TEPA-modified kenaf adsorbent at a ratio of 2:1 (2.086 mmol/g). The study on the effect of amine concentration on kenaf adsorbent is beneficial in introducing kenaf as a sorbent in capturing CO2. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Photodegradation of 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene on Montmorillonite–TiO2 Nanocomposites
ChemEngineering 2018, 2(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering2020022
Received: 17 April 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract
Montmorillonite–TiO2 nanocomposites were prepared using two different methods (ultrasonic or stirring) and using titanium(IV) isopropoxide as precursor. The solids were characterized by element chemical analysis, X-ray diffraction, FTIR spectroscopy, thermal analyses, and nitrogen adsorption. The evolution of the properties as a function
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Montmorillonite–TiO2 nanocomposites were prepared using two different methods (ultrasonic or stirring) and using titanium(IV) isopropoxide as precursor. The solids were characterized by element chemical analysis, X-ray diffraction, FTIR spectroscopy, thermal analyses, and nitrogen adsorption. The evolution of the properties as a function of the preparation method was discussed. These nanocomposites were used as catalysts for the photodegradation of 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene. The degradation pathway and the nature of the by–products were investigated by mass spectrometry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heterogeneous Photocatalysis and Photocatalytic Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Optimization of Chemical Processes by the Hydrodynamic Simulation Method (HSM)
ChemEngineering 2018, 2(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering2020021
Received: 22 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 2 May 2018 / Published: 14 May 2018
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Abstract
We describe a hydrodynamic simulation method (HSM) that is based on hydrodynamic considerations in Batch and Semi Batch stirred reactor systems. The method combines hydrodynamic studies of the mixing procedure obtained from experiments in small and large scale stirred reactors together with process
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We describe a hydrodynamic simulation method (HSM) that is based on hydrodynamic considerations in Batch and Semi Batch stirred reactor systems. The method combines hydrodynamic studies of the mixing procedure obtained from experiments in small and large scale stirred reactors together with process simulation by VisiMix software. We describe how this hydrodynamic simulation method can aid in process optimization and scale up. The use of the simulation method described in this article, will offer the user the possibility to achieve the best results during production stage, saving time and currency, and at the same time increasing the knowledge of the performed process. Several examples in the article demonstrate the benefits of the proposed method. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Visible-Light-Driven Photocatalytic Fuel Cell with an Ag-TiO2 Carbon Foam Anode for Simultaneous 4-Chlorophenol Degradation and Energy Recovery
ChemEngineering 2018, 2(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering2020020
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 5 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 7 May 2018
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Abstract
Photocatalytic fuel cells (PFCs) are a sustainable technology with application in waste water treatment, in which energy is obtained from the photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants. However, the application of PFCs is limited by the photoanode, in particular its low efficiency for treating
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Photocatalytic fuel cells (PFCs) are a sustainable technology with application in waste water treatment, in which energy is obtained from the photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants. However, the application of PFCs is limited by the photoanode, in particular its low efficiency for treating recalcitrant pollutants. In this study, a double chamber PFC reactor was constructed. Visible-light-driven Ag-TiO2 photocatalyst supported carbon foam was used as the anode and platinum was used as the cathode. 4-Chlorophenol (4-CP) was used as a model pollutant in the cation chamber to investigate the efficiency of pollutant degradation and power generation. The effects of the electrolyte type and solution pH on the 4-CP degradation and power production were investigated. The results showed that 32.6% of 4-CP was degraded by the PFC in 6 h. Na2SO4 was the optimum electrolyte and had the least side effects on the degradation of 4-CP when compared with NaCl, NaHCO3 and NaH2PO4. The optimum pH range was 6.4–8.4 when sodium sulfate was used as the electrolyte. The power density was approximately 36.0 mW/m2 under the above experimental conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Measurement of Volumetric Mass Transfer Coefficient in Bubble Columns
ChemEngineering 2018, 2(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering2020019
Received: 5 March 2018 / Revised: 14 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 1 May 2018
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Abstract
The paper presents a brief overview of experiments on volumetric mass transfer coefficient in bubble columns. The available experimental data published are often incomparable due to the different type of gas distributor and different operating conditions used by various authors. Moreover, the value
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The paper presents a brief overview of experiments on volumetric mass transfer coefficient in bubble columns. The available experimental data published are often incomparable due to the different type of gas distributor and different operating conditions used by various authors. Moreover, the value of the coefficient obtained experimentally is very sensitive to the particular method and to the physical models used in its evaluation. It follows that the Dynamic Pressure Method (DPM) is able to provide physically correct values not only in lab-scale contactors but also in pilot-scale reactors. However, the method was not correctly proven in bubble columns. In present experiments, DPM was employed in a laboratory-scale bubble column with a coalescent phase and tested in the pure heterogeneous flow regime. The method was successfully validated by the measurements under two different conditions relevant to the mass transfer. First, the ideal pressure step was compared with the non-ideal pressure step. Second, the pure oxygen absorption was compared with the simultaneous oxygen-and-nitrogen absorption. The obtained results proved that DPM is suitable for measuring the mass transport in bubble columns and to provide reliable data of volumetric mass transfer coefficient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bubble Column Fluid Dynamics)
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Open AccessArticle The Bubble Shape in Contaminated Bubbly Flows: Results for Different NaCl Concentrations in Purified Water
ChemEngineering 2018, 2(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering2020018
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 5 April 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
The bubble shape influences the transfer of momentum and heat/mass between the bubble and the surrounding fluid as well as the flow field around the bubble. The shape is determined by the interaction of the fluid field in the bubble, the physics on
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The bubble shape influences the transfer of momentum and heat/mass between the bubble and the surrounding fluid as well as the flow field around the bubble. The shape is determined by the interaction of the fluid field in the bubble, the physics on the surface, and the surrounding flow field. It is well known that contaminations can disturb the surface physics so that the bubble shape can be influenced. Indeed, an influence of sodium chloride (NaCl) on the hydrodynamics of bubbly flows was shown for air/water systems in previous studies. The aim of the present work is to investigate if, and to what extent, the NaCl concentration affects the bubble shape in bubble columns. For this purpose, several experiments at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf and at the pilot-scale bubble column at the Politecnico di Milano are evaluated. The experiments were executed independently from each other and were evaluated with different methods. All experiments show that the bubble shape is not distinctly affected in the examined concentration range from 0 to 1 M NaCl, which is in contrast to a previous study on single bubbles. Therefore, the effect of NaCl on the hydrodynamics of bubbly flows is not induced by the bubble shape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bubble Column Fluid Dynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Glycine Oligomerization by Pulsed Discharge Plasma over Aqueous Solution under Atmospheric Pressure
ChemEngineering 2018, 2(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering2020017
Received: 14 March 2018 / Revised: 30 March 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
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Abstract
Chemical reactions of amino acids induced by discharge plasma are important for understanding the mechanism of biological effects of discharge plasma in biomedical applications. In this study, we generated a nano-second pulsed discharge plasma under atmospheric pressure over an aqueous solution containing glycine.
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Chemical reactions of amino acids induced by discharge plasma are important for understanding the mechanism of biological effects of discharge plasma in biomedical applications. In this study, we generated a nano-second pulsed discharge plasma under atmospheric pressure over an aqueous solution containing glycine. The reaction products after the pulsed discharge plasma treatments were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectroscopy. The oligomerization reaction of glycine was induced in aqueous solution and produced glycine oligomers at the beginning of the discharge plasma. However, the glycine oligomers were decomposed into products with low molecular weight by excessive pulsed discharge plasma. According to comparative experiments, physical force of the plasma is believed to induce the glycine reaction. Moreover, the reactions depended on the pH, but not the conductivity, of the glycine solution. Glycine in aqueous solution was reacted by the discharge plasma only at neutral pH because the reaction proceeded only when glycine ions were in the zwitterionic state. Anions and cations of glycine reacted very little under the discharge plasma. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Study of Bubble Size, Void Fraction, and Mass Transport in a Bubble Column under High Amplitude Vibration
ChemEngineering 2018, 2(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering2020016
Received: 16 March 2018 / Revised: 6 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
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Abstract
Vertical vibration is known to cause bubble breakup, clustering and retardation in gas-liquid systems. In a bubble column, vibration increases the mass transfer ratio by increasing the residence time and phase interfacial area through introducing kinetic buoyancy force (Bjerknes effect) and bubble breakup.
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Vertical vibration is known to cause bubble breakup, clustering and retardation in gas-liquid systems. In a bubble column, vibration increases the mass transfer ratio by increasing the residence time and phase interfacial area through introducing kinetic buoyancy force (Bjerknes effect) and bubble breakup. Previous studies have explored the effect of vibration frequency (f), but minimal effort has focused on the effect of amplitude (A) on mass transfer intensification. Thus, the current work experimentally examines bubble size, void fraction, and mass transfer in a bubble column under relatively high amplitude vibration (1.5 mm < A <9.5 mm) over a frequency range of 7.5–22.5 Hz. Results of the present work were compared with past studies. The maximum stable bubble size under vibration was scaled using Hinze theory for breakage. Results of this work indicate that vibration frequency exhibits local maxima in both mass transfer and void fraction. Moreover, an optimum amplitude that is independent of vibration frequency was found for mass transfer enhancements. Finally, this work suggests physics-based models to predict void fraction and mass transfer in a vibrating bubble column. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bubble Column Fluid Dynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Study of Hydrogen Interactions with Nd2Fe17 and Nd2Fe14B by Means of Calorimetric Method
ChemEngineering 2018, 2(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering2020015
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 5 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
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Abstract
Hydrogen interactions with Nd2Fe17 and Nd2Fe14B was investigated by means of the calorimetric method with application of differential heat-conducting calorimeters that were of the Tean-Calvet type. The reaction of hydrogen absorption and desorption was carried out
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Hydrogen interactions with Nd2Fe17 and Nd2Fe14B was investigated by means of the calorimetric method with application of differential heat-conducting calorimeters that were of the Tean-Calvet type. The reaction of hydrogen absorption and desorption was carried out at 250 and 300 °C for Nd2Fe17, while the pressure-composition-isotherms (P-C-T) and enthalpy change with hydrogen concentration in the intermetallic compound (IMC) were obtained. The Nd2Fe14B-H2 system was studied at 50 °C and the dependence of the enthalpy change with hydrogen concentration in the intermetallic compound was also obtained. Based on the measured data, the assumption about the order of filling the interstitial sites by hydrogen atoms was made. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Study of Pressure Drop in Fixed Bed Reactor Using a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Code
ChemEngineering 2018, 2(2), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering2020014
Received: 28 November 2017 / Revised: 1 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 2 April 2018
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Abstract
Pressure drops of water and critical steam flowing in the fixed bed of mono-sized spheres are studied using SolidWorks 2017 Flow Simulation CFD code. The effects of the type of bed formation, flow velocity, density, and pebble size are evaluated. A new equation
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Pressure drops of water and critical steam flowing in the fixed bed of mono-sized spheres are studied using SolidWorks 2017 Flow Simulation CFD code. The effects of the type of bed formation, flow velocity, density, and pebble size are evaluated. A new equation is concluded from the data, which is able to estimate pressure drop of a packed bed for high particle Reynolds number, from 15,000 to 1,000,000. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Two-Phase Bubble Columns: A Comprehensive Review
ChemEngineering 2018, 2(2), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering2020013
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
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Abstract
We present a comprehensive literature review on the two-phase bubble column; in this review we deeply analyze the flow regimes, the flow regime transitions, the local and global fluid dynamics parameters, and the mass transfer phenomena. First, we discuss the flow regimes, the
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We present a comprehensive literature review on the two-phase bubble column; in this review we deeply analyze the flow regimes, the flow regime transitions, the local and global fluid dynamics parameters, and the mass transfer phenomena. First, we discuss the flow regimes, the flow regime transitions, the local and global fluid dynamics parameters, and the mass transfer. We also discuss how the operating parameters (i.e., pressure, temperature, and gas and liquid flow rates), the operating modes (i.e., the co-current, the counter-current and the batch modes), the liquid and gas phase properties, and the design parameters (i.e., gas sparger design, column diameter and aspect ratio) influence the flow regime transitions and the fluid dynamics parameters. Secondly, we present the experimental techniques for studying the global and local fluid dynamic properties. Finally, we present the modeling approaches to study the global and local bubble column fluid dynamics, and we outline the major issues to be solved in future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bubble Column Fluid Dynamics)
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