Measurement of fluid flow in the downcomer of an internal loop airlift reactor using an optical trajectory-tracking system

Xiaoxi Wu, Jose C. Merchuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

A low cost optical trajectory tracking system (OTTS) for flow studies has been developed in our laboratory. The system was developed with the purpose of identifying flow trajectories, which are required for the mathematical formulation of photosynthetic processes in airlift reactors. It consists of two cameras, which are connected to a PC computer via an Image Process Card. The system is used for the study of fluid trajectories in the downcomer of an airlift reactor. The motion of a single neutrally buoyant fluorescent particle is logged by the system, and the vectors of the trajectories are reconstructed into 3D coordinates. The flow in the downcomer of the airlift reactor was studied using two different draft tube diameters. The superficial gas velocities varied from 0.005 to 0.025 m/s. Analysis of the experimental results shows that plug flow exists in this region. Shear stress was also analyzed and was found homogeneous. Preliminary results of the measurement of fluid flow in the downcomer of the ALR with helical flow promoters (HFP) are also presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1599-1614
Number of pages16
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Volume58
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2003

Keywords

  • Airlift reactor
  • Downcomer
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Helical flow promoters
  • PIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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