Plume characteristics and liquid circulation in gas injection through a porous plug
- Cite this article as:
- Anagbo, P.E. & Brimacombe, J.K. MTB (1990) 21: 637. doi:10.1007/BF02654242
Various forms of plumes have been identified following the injection of air at different rates through a porous plug into water contained in a ladle-shaped vessel. Discrete bubbles form at the plug and rise uniformly through the column of liquid at gas flow rates up to 14 cm3/s cm2 of plug surface; at higher flow rates, groups of bubbles increasingly coalesce into larger gas pockets, and beyond about 40 cm3/s cm2, the gas globes are large enough to cover the entire plug surface before detachment and gradual disintegration as they rise through the body of liquid. The gas fraction, as well as bubble frequency, bubble velocity, and bubble size, have been measured in the various dispersion regimes by means of an electroresistivity probe. The radial distributions of gas fraction and bubble frequency are approximately bell-shaped about the axis of flow, and the reduced values are close to Gaussian functions of the reduced radial distance from the axis. The gas fraction along the axis has been correlated to the reduced height of the plume; it increases with decreasing distance above the plug and with increasing gas flow rate. The axial bubble frequency shows a decrease in the vicinity of the plug with the onset of bubble coalescence, but the values of the frequencies at all gas injection rates converge to about 12 s−1 toward the surface of the bath. The mean bubble velocity increases with increasing flow rate but drops once coalescence is fully established. Conversely, there is a sudden increase in the mean bubble diameter with the onset of coalescence. The axial and radial components of the velocity of the liquid surrounding the plume have been measured by means of a Laser-Doppler Velocimeter (LDV), and the results show that the circulation patterns are identical, irrespective of the dispersion regime. The axial flow which is upward in the vicinity of the plume decreases in magnitude with increasing radial distance, ultimately reversing to an in-creasing downward flow beyond a certain distance from the plug axis. Similarly, the radial flow which is outward from the plume near the liquid surface decreases steadily with depth and eventually reverses to an inward flow at a depth independent of the gas injection rate. The profiles of the axial velocities are almost sigmoidal, except in the coalescence regime, where the effect of turbulence is profound at the upper liquid layers. The radial liquid velocities are generally small relative to the axial components, only about one-fifth as large, considering the maximum average values.