Modelling of mass transfer for gas-liquid two-phase flow in bubble column reactor with a bubble breakage model considering bubble-induced turbulence

Weibin Shi, Xiaogang Yang, Martin Sommerfeld, Jie Yang, Xinyue Cai, Guang Li, Yuan Zong

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


A quantitative description of the interaction between the turbulence eddies and bubble groups is crucial for the prediction of the bubble size distribution in bubble columns when adopting the population balance model (PBM) to estimate the heat and mass transfer across the interfaces between bubbles and carrier liquid. The majority of breakage kernels that are currently adopted focus on the shear turbulence in the liquid phase and model the kinetic energy contained in the arrival eddies that hit the bubbles by using the classical single-phase turbulence Kolmogorov −5/3 scaling law. In bubble columns, eddies that collide with bubbles and cause the bubble breakage are mainly generated by bubble-induced turbulence (BIT). The present work focuses on the influence of κ−3 scaling of the bubble-induced turbulence energy spectrum on the bubble breakage due to the eddy-bubble collision in bubble columns. A modified breakage model accounting for the bubble-induced turbulence is proposed. The proposed breakage model considers the mean turbulent velocity of eddies under the influence of bubble-induced turbulence and the characteristic wavenumber/length scale that corresponds to BIT. A comparison of the simulation results with the experimental data clearly demonstrate that the modified breakage model appropriately describes the bubble breakage events occurring under the influence of bubble-induced turbulence in bubble columns. It is also shown that the interaction of bubbles with the bubble-induced turbulence eddies has an impact on prediction of the mass transfer in bubble column flows.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-485
Number of pages16
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


  • Bubble breakage model
  • Bubble column reactor
  • Bubble-induced turbulence
  • CFD-PBM modelling
  • Gas-liquid two-phase flow
  • Turbulence energy spectrum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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