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25 просмотров16 страницDynamic numerical simulation of
gas-liquid two-phase flows
Euler/Euler versus Euler/Lagrang
A. Sokolichin and G. Eigenberger

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Dynamic numerical simulation of
gas-liquid two-phase flows
Euler/Euler versus Euler/Lagrang
A. Sokolichin and G. Eigenberger

© All Rights Reserved

0 оценок0% нашли этот документ полезным (0 голосов)

25 просмотров16 страницDynamic numerical simulation of
gas-liquid two-phase flows
Euler/Euler versus Euler/Lagrang
A. Sokolichin and G. Eigenberger

© All Rights Reserved

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Copyright c) 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd

Printed in Great Britain. All rights reserved

P I I : S0009-2509(96)00425-3

0009 2509,/'97 $17.00 + 0.00

gas-liquid two-phase flows

Euler/Euler versus Euler/Lagrange

A. Sokolichin* and G. Eigenberger

Institut fiir Chemische Verfahrenstechnik, Universit~it Stuttgart, B6blingerstr. 72,

D-70199 Stuttgart, Germany

and

Institut fiir Technische Chemie, Universit~it Hannover, Callinstr. 3, D-30167 Hannover,

Germany

(Received 18 January 1996; accepted 3 July 1996)

Abstraet--A dynamical, two-phase flow model in two- and three-space coordinates is presented. The gas-liquid flow is modeled by a Navier-Stokes system of equations in an Eulerian

representation. The motion of gas is modeled by a separate continuity equation. The Eulerian

approach with U P W I N D or TVD discretization and the Lagrangian approach for solving the

gas-phase equation are compared with each other on two two-dimensional test problems: the

dynamical simulation of a locally aerated bubble column and of a uniformly aerated bubble

column. The comparison shows that the results obtained with the TVD-version of the

Euler/Euler method and the Euler/Lagrange technique agree quantitatively. On the other hand,

it has not been possible to obtain similar agreement even qualitatively with the U P W I N D

technique, due to the influence of the numerical diffusion effects, which are inherent in the case

of U P W I N D discretization. Copyright 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd

Keywords: Modeling;

simulation;

Euler/

Lagrange.

1. INTRODUCTION

Numerical simulation is being recognized as a primary tool for improving the performance of process

equipment. In particular, for scale-up of chemical

reactors a reliable fluid dynamic reactor model is of

great benefit. Dynamic numerical simulation is thus

on the agenda of most big chemical companies and

many scientific research laboratories.

While the computing power of workstations and

mainframe computers, necessary to perform adequate

numerical simulations, increased considerably over

the last years, the appropriate basic simulation software is currently lagging behind. This is particularly

true for numerical codes which can be used to simulate gas-liquid two-phase flows.

As demonstrated by Lapin and Liibbert (1994),

Sokolichin and Eigenberger (1994) and Devanathan

* Corresponding author.

*Present address: Institut fiir Bioverfahrenstechnik,

Martin-Luther-Universifftt Halle-Wittenberg, Weinbergweg

23, D-06120 Halle, Germany.

flow behavior in order to account for the reactor

properties as mixing and heat transfer, which are of

interest to chemical engineers.

In literature, essentially two basic approaches to

dynamic flow simulations of two-phase gas-liquid

flows have been discussed. The first is an approach

where both the liquid motion and the gas-phase

motion are considered in a homogeneous way. These

two-fluid approximations are presented in Eulerian

representation and thus referred to as Euler/Euler

simulations (Torvik and Svendsen, 1990; Sokolichin

and Eigenberger, 1994). The second approach treats

only the liquid-phase motion in an Eulerian representation and computes the motion of the dispersed

gas-phase fluid elements in a Lagrangian way by individually tracking them on their way through the reactor. This approach has been termed Euler/Lagrange

representation (Webb et al., 1992; Lapin and Liibbert,

1994). Several numerical solution schemes which are

by no means equivalent have been applied to solve the

corresponding differential equation systems.

611

612

A. Sokolichin et al.

development it is necessary to validate them. Primarily, validation should be based on experiments

where the flow structures are similar to those of industrial reactors which are the final target of process

development. There are considerable difficulties in

such a direct validation procedure since the measurement techniques necessary to provide comprehensive

data from the turbulent flows prevailing in real chemical reactors are not sufficiently developed. Most

available measurement devices provide local fluid velocity data only. Usually, only long-time averaged

data are published. Even for bubble columns, which

can be regarded as the most simple two-phase reactors, gas-liquid flow patterns are available as longterm averages (Torvik and Svendsen, 1990; Grienberger and Hofmann, 1992). Consequently, a direct validation of transient flow structures in bubble columns

is presently not possible.

The best one can do at the moment is to make sure

that the codes predict at least qualitatively all characteristic properties of the flow which are known from

experience. In this contribution, such a comparison

will be based upon measurements in flat bubble columns with a wafer-type geometry where an essentially

two-dimensional flow structure prevails (Tzeng et al.,

1993; Becker et al., 1994).

It is the aim of the contribution to compare the

results of different codes, based upon the same fluiddynamical model, for two examples of a locally and

uniformly aerated flat bubble column. An Euler/Lagrange code is compared with two versions of an

Euler/Euler code where for the gas flow either a firstorder U P W I N D discretization or a second-order discretization is used. The stability of the second-order

discretization is based upon the concept of total variation diminution (TVD). Therefore, this code will be

referred to as the TVD method.

2. F L U I D - D Y N A M I C A L

MODEL

Navier-Stokes equation system, which is of fundamental importance to all single-phase flows, can also

be applied to two-phase flows if the dispersed phase

elements are small and do not significantly change the

overall fluid density and if the momentum of the

particles or bubbles can be neglected. Then the density p must be chosen as the effective density of the

dispersion and, similarly, the usual viscosity/~ must be

replaced by an effective viscosity #eff. This leads to the

following model equations:

~p

a-7 + v . (pu) = 0

(1)

stress tensor:

f ~ui

~u;

- -

dt

+ V.(puu) = -- Vp + V.T + pg

(2)

due to gravity, p is the pressure and T is the

?~u,\

(3)

the viscous momentum equation (2) to form the

Navier-Stokes equation system. Provided a proper

separate model is available for the effective viscosity

#elf, the system (1), (2) consists of 4 scalar equations

and contains 5 unknown variables (p, ul, Uz, u3, p).

The effective density, p, of the gas-liquid mixture

can be taken as the corresponding local average

p = ~pg + (1 - ~)p~

(4)

the gas phase. The system of equations can be closed

with an additional continuity equation for the gas

phase:

O(ePo)

t?----f- + V. (epouo) = D

(5)

phase due to random fluctuations of the bubble

motions. The gas velocity uo can be expressed as the

sum of liquid velocity u~ and slip velocity Usnp. For the

slip velocity, us~ip,various expressions can be found in

the literature depending on the pressure gradient, the

drag force, the added mass force, the Basset force, the

Magnus force and the Saffman lift force (see e.g.

Johansen, 1990). For the gas-liquid flow in bubble

columns, we assume the last four effects to be negligible. Then we get a simplified expression for the slip

velocity:

Vp

Uslip - -

Cdrag

(6)

number of correlations can be found in literature,

depending upon whether single bubbles or bubble

swarms in stagnant or moving liquids are considered.

Ca~g depends primarily on the bubble size. This dependency is rather weak for air bubbles of 1-10 mm

mean diameter in water. According to Schwarz and

Turner (1988),

Car~g = 50 cmg3 s

(7)

about 20 cm/s, which is in complete accordance with

experimental velocity data of air bubbles in tap water.

The density of the liquid is assumed to be constant

within the bubble column while the density of the gas

phase depends on the local pressure p:

Pt = const.

Opu

2.

p

Pg = RTo"

(8)

(9)

Together with the equations representing the relationship between the velocities of both phases and the

gas-liquid mixture,

pu = epgug + (1 - - e)plut

(10)

equations which describes the dynamical behavior of

the two-phase flow. It can be solved numerically, if

p~ff and D are specified.

3, EFFECTIVE VISCOSITY AND BUBBLE PATH

DISPERSION

the gas-liquid mixture, the standard k-s model developed for single-phase flows has been used in the

majority of publications on numerical simulations of

two-phase flows. However, at present it is not clear

how far such turbulence models, which have been

developed for single-phase flow, can be applied to

two-phase flows. The dispersed phase - - here the

rising gas bubbles - - obviously influences the effective

viscosity of the gas-liquid dispersion. Previous simulations showed (Becker et al., 1994) that gas-liquid

bubble flow can often be described with good qualitative and reasonable quantitative accuracy using

two-phase flow models without specific assumptions

about turbulence. In cases of insufficient quantitative

agreements, a moderate increase of the liquid viscosity

led to a substantial improvement (Becker et al., 1994).

On the contrary, in the air-in-water bubble columns discussed here, the standard k-e model would

predict an effective viscosity four orders of magnitude

larger then the liquid viscosity. This would substantially change the flow structure since it would

completely dampen out the transient motions and in

particular it would eliminate all the vortices, which

are well known to be present and can easily be seen in

such flows. In the often cited paper of Schwarz and

Turner (1988) the standard k-s model was used for the

case of a locally aerated bubble column. The authors

found a good agreement with the measurements.

However, it seems dangerous to generalize their result, since in their experiments the gas bubbles were

confined to a small portion in the middle of the

reactor only, while the rest of the column was essentially gas free. A comparison by the same authors with

a constant effective liquid viscosity also led to reasonable agreement with the experiments.

Since simple single-phase flow turbulence models

like the k-t- model turned out to be unsuccessful

(Becker et al., 1994), we simply assume that the effective viscosity/Lef

t of the gas liquid mixture is equal to

the viscosity of water.

Another important problem is the bubble path dispersion. When bubbles start from a point source at

the bottom of a bubble column with a sufficiently high

frequency, they interact with each other and do not

rise straight upwards even if the mean liquid velocity

is zero. Bubble wake effects (e.g. Fan and Tsuchiya,

1990) are the main reasons. As is well known, small

bubbles are accelerated in the wake of larger ones

and others are pushed aside. Hence, there is a con-

613

appears as a random motion on the larger scale considered in our model.

This path dispersion effect is not restricted to

bubble plumes but is also present in bubble columns

which are aerated across their entire bottom. The

most simple way to consider this random spatially

dispersive effect is to extend the continuity equation of

the gas phase by a diffusion-like term as has already

been done in eq. (5). The corresponding diffusion

coefficient has been related to the turbulent eddy

viscosity of the liquid phase by Grienberger and

Hofmann (1992) and Torvik and Svendsen (1990).

This approach assumes an isotropic dispersion. However, since bubbles rise relative to the liquid predominantly in a vertical direction, dispersion will not be an

isotropic quantity.

A more general representation would be a dispersion tensor. However, presently there is neither

enough knowledge available to model the tensor elements nor enough experimental data to measure the

tensor elements reliably. We thus assume that the

term D in eq. (5j can be expressed as

D=:~

dxi [

(11)

diffusion coefficients estimated from experimental

data.

4. NUMERICAL SOLUTION PROCEDURE

model. Since the density of the gas phase is much

smaller than the density of the liquid phase, we can

assume without significant loss of accuracy that

p = (1 - s)p/

(12)

u = ut.

(13)

and

phase to be incompressible. Under this assumption,

the gas continuity equation (5) simplifies to an equation for the local gas holdup s:

where

Vp

Ug = u + u~lip = u - Cdra--g"

(15)

finite-volume method has been used. In the threedimensional case, the solution domain is discretized

into six-sided, rectangular control volumes. We take

the staggered grid formulation first used by Harlow

and Welch (1965), which means that the scalar quantitites are attached to the centers of the control volumes, and the velocity components are calculated for

the centers of the surfaces of the control cells.

614

A. Sokolichin et al.

and m o m e n t u m balances for the single-phase flow.

This means that these equations can be solved in the

same way as in the single-phase case and well-established iteration procedures can be applied. We use

the S I M P L E R technique of Patankar (1980). The only

modification required is to update the local density

values of the gas-liquid mixture, p, in the space domain at the end of each iteration loop. For this purpose we solve the gas holdup equation (14) and

substitute its result e into the expression (12).

The accuracy of the solving procedure for the gas

holdup equation (14) plays a crucial role in the

modeling of gas-driven gas-liquid flows, because the

resulting flow pattern directly depends upon the gas

holdup distribution in the reactor. The two methods

most frequently used to solve this equation are the

finite-volume method and the method of characteristics. Depending on which of these two methods is

used, the fluid dynamical model is referred to as an

Euler/Euler model or as an Euler/Lagrange model. In

the next sections these two approaches will be described in detail.

5. S O L V I N G T H E G A S H O L D U P E Q U A T I O N

algorithms for solving the gas holdup equation (14).

We assume the components of u 0 to be known at the

faces of the control volumes at a given time from

the solution of eqs (1), (2) and (15). Furthermore, the

diffusion coefficients D~ are considered to be known

and constant.

5.1. Eulerian approach

We start with the finite-volume method for the gas

holdup equation in one spatial direction. The ideas

presented here can be extended in a rather straightforward way to two and three dimensions.

In one dimension, eq. (14) simplifies to

(16)

corresponding variables. In the following, we will

omit the subscripts ofug, a, D1 and Xl for the reason of

simplicity. We use a finite-volume method in which e7

represents an approximation to the cell average of e at

time t, over the ith cell Ci = [ X i - 1 / 2 , X i + a / 2 ] . The

finite-volume formulation for the gas holdup equation

can be obtained through the integration of eq. (16)

over Ci x It., t.+a] and takes the form

E~' + 1 _ e7

At

h, where I is equal to n or to n + I, depending on what

kind of time integration (explicit or implicit) is used.

Unless otherwise stated, it is understood that all data

are taken at time t, + 1 and the superscript I will be left

out.

The usual method to approximate the convective

fluxes is the first-order U P W I N D method where

(<Uei-a

Fup(e;i) = I Uei

if U / > 0

if U < 0.

(18)

cell Ci.

The U P W I N D method leads to a numerical diffusion in the order of[ UIAx/2. Usually, with the numerical grid resolutions which can be handled in two- or

three-dimensional calculations the true solutions become strongly smoothed. Hence, the accuracy of the

solutions is rather low.

The second-order central-difference method

2

(19)

very low cell Peclet numbers (i.e. the low values of

UAx/D) are to be expected but it has difficulties if

e has steep gradients since then it is very dispersive

and tends to generate artificial oscillations.

Much better results can be obtained using a hybrid

method that uses the second-order flux in smooth

regions but involves some sort of limiting based on the

gradient of the solution so that near discontinuities it

reduces to the monotone U P W I N D method. The

stability theory of such flux-limiter methods is based

on the concept of the total variation diminishing of

the solution (for details see e.g. LeVeque, 1990), so we

will use the abbreviation TVD for this type of the

convective flux approximation. Note that the centraldifference flux (19) can be decomposed into the

U P W I N D flux plus a correction term:

(20)

FTVD(e;i) : FUp(g;i) q- 1Ul(g~- ~ , - ~ ) ~

(21)

nature of the solution. Note that if ~i = 0, then we

have the U P W I N D method while if tb~ = 1 we have

central difference. The limiter we will use here has the

form

~i = ck(Oi),

1

Oi =

C'I - - e l - 1

(22)

~i - - E i - 1

(17)

where

convective flux (1/At)S,.,*n+l (eu)(xi_ 1/2, t) dt and D(d;i)

is some approximation to the average diffusive flux

I =

i-1

+1

if U ~ > 0

if U < 0 .

(23)

615

We see that 0~ is the ratio of the slope at the neighboring interface in the upwind direction to the slope of

the current interface. One standard limiter we use in

our calculations is the superbee limiter

0(0) = max(0,min(1,20),min(2,0)).

Ax

is satisfied for each i. If the implicit TVD method is

used, eq. (17) leads to a system of non-linear algebraic

equations, which has to be linearized and to be solved

iteratively. Violation of condition (25) may lead to

negative central coefficients in the resulting system of

linear equations which may cause severe convergence

problems. That is why we prefer to use the explicit

approximation to the convective fluxes if the TVD

method is applied. At high space resolution of the

solution domain, condition (25) requires very small

time steps, which leads to a considerable increase of

computation time. The computation time can be drastically reduced if one uses a finer time mesh only for

solving the gas holdup equation and keeps larger time

increments for solving the other model equations.

For the diffusion term we exclusively use the implicit second-order central-difference flux approximation

'~ii -- ~;i

D(<i) = D - Ax

nm

(24)

The implicit TVD method described above is unconditionally stable, while the explicit one is stable only if

the condition

UAt

~: can be calculated for every control cell as the total

volume Vapea of the GPPs within the cell divided by

the cell volume

126)

approximation to the diffusive fluxes requires very

small time steps in order to maintain stability

(At < (Ax)2/2D). It is therefore very ineffective on fine

spatial meshes.

5.2. Lagrangian approach

The Lagrangian method of solving the gas holdup

equation does not require solving any explicit equation of the gas holdup. The gas phase is represented by

a finite number of dispersed gas-phase particles

(GPP), and the gas holdup ~: can be calculated from

size and position of the GPPs in the solution domain.

We intentionally speak about dispersed gas-phase

particles rather than about gas bubbles for reasons

which will become clear later. At the beginning of the

simulation we assume the gas holdup in the reactor to

be equal to zero, so initially no GPPs are present in

the solution domain. After starting the aeration, the

GPPs enter the solution domain through the gas

sparger area of the bubble column according to the

predefined superficial gas velocity. If no bubble path

dispersion takes place in the gas phase (D~ = 0, i = 1,

2, 3) the GPPs will move through the reactor with the

velocity u 0. Then the bubble trajectories can simply be

calculated by solving an ordinary differential equation system describing the buoyancy.

VGppd

= -

Pg

where n is the number and m the mass of the GPPs in

the cell volume and p is the density of the gas.

However, if the total number of GPPs is not very

high, this way of calculating the gas holdup can lead

to sharp discontinuities in the gas holdup profiles

which might lead to convergence problems during the

solution for the Navier Stokes equation. In order to

avoid these difficulties, the GPPs are represented by

spatial density distribution functions as described in

detail by Lapin and Liibbert (1994). The density functions may overlap each other and also extend across

the boundaries of the computational cells. In this way

each G P P may contribute to the gas holdup not only

within the actual control cell but also, in particular

while it is moving near the cell border, in adjacent cells.

If random bubble motion effects cannot be neglected, they can be described by random shifts of the

positions of the individual GPPs which are computed

in the following way:

x n ( t ) -~ x n ( t ) q-

~ix~tdi

(27)

t, gi (i-- 1, 2, 3) are independent random numbers

uniformly distributed in the range [ - 1/2, 1/2], At is

the length of the next time step and di (i = 1, 2, 3) are

coefficients characterizing the strength of the disturbances, which still have to be calculated. Thus, essentially a random motion has been superimposed on the

bubble motion corresponding to a Brownian or generalized diffusive motion.

In order to calculate the coefficients di in such a way

that the diffusive motion can be compared with the

approach used in the Euler/Euler solutions, consider

a three-dimensional diffusion equation

Ct Cx~\ CxU

(28)

c,(x, t = 0) -- 6(x).

(29)

The analytical solution of this equation is the threedimensional Gaussian distribution function

1

e(x,t)=

I~

i=1,2.3

2 ~'>4D''.x/vitr~

~/:__e -

{30)

r(x,t) = x/x 2 + x 2 + x 2

(31)

can be calculated as

t~2(t) =

(32)

616

A. Sokolichin et al.

solution of eq. (28) analogous to an ink-drop dispersion experiment by releasing M particles with associated volume Ax~ A x 2 A x 3 / M

at some initial time

t = 0 from the point x = 0 (the discrete analogon of

the 6-function) and let them disperse, i.e. changing

their coordinates in space and time according to eq.

(27). The numerical solution e(x, t) calculated from the

particle distribution at time t will then converge to the

probability distribution function of single gas-phase

particle position x(r) in the limit for Ax--, 0 and

M ~ ~ . The position of a single particle x(t) at time

t = n At is defined by

x , ( n A t ) = ( ~ + ~2 + ... + / , ? ) , ~ t t d , .

(33)

n ~ ~ , A t = tin --, 0 to the three-dimensional Gauss

distribution function by the central limit theorem of

the probability theory, with

t~2(t) = (r2(x,t)) = ~2(d 2 + d22 + d~).

(34)

From eqs (32) and (34) we are now able to express the

relationship between d~ and D~:

di

2~t'.

(35)

or even not correct to associate a dispersed gas-phase

particle with a single gas bubble. The number of

GPPs and the number of gas bubbles in the reactor

may be different. If the volume of a single gas bubble is

much smaller than the volume of a control cell and

many of them are within this single cell, then the

number of the GPPs can be taken smaller than the

number of the gas bubbles. In this case, one G P P

represents a bubble cluster.

On the other hand, if the gas holdup is low and the

volume of a single gas bubble is larger than the control volume element, then it might be of advantage to

represent such big bubbles by a number of GPPs in

order to obtain a more continuous distribution of the

gas across the numerical grid.

The total number of the GPPs in the solution

domain is controlled by the particle generation rate,

which depends on the grid resolution and the bubble

size distribution, but in every case it must match the

predefined superficial gas velocity.

It should be mentioned that the Lagrangian approach using eq. (27) is not the optimal way to solve

continuous equations like eq. (14). In particular, problems with the number of GPPs arise through the task

of representing the gas diffusion terms in eq. (14) by

means of the Lagrangian approach. Physically, the

diffusion approach describes a gas transport from the

regions with high gas concentration to regions with

lower gas concentration. Equation (27), however, describes the random component of the movement of

the GPPs. This approach can lead to unphysical results if only a small number of GPPs per unit cell are

present, because it allows for a transition from a con-

trol cell with lower gas holdup into the control cell

with the higher one. As an example we can imagine

a random jump of one G P P from a control cell

containing a single G P P to the adjacent cell containing two GPPs. In the following, examples of twophase flow with many small bubbles are considered.

Then it is no problem to represent the diffusional

component in eq. (14) adequately with a Lagrangian

approach.

6. T E S T

CASE

In order to compare the simulation results produced with both methods we use the example of

a partially aerated flat bubble column. This test case is

described in detail in Becker et al. (1994), hence only

a brief description will be given here. The apparatus

has a rectangular cross-section with the following

dimensions: width 50cm, depth 8 cm and height

150 cm.

Glass walls on the front and the back allow observation and photographic documentation of the

multiphase flow. For gas dispersion a single frit, flushmounted on the bottom of the apparatus at the distance of 14.5 cm from the left side of the column has

been used. In this flat column, an essentially twodimensional flow structure develops, depending on

the gas flow rate used. At superficial gas velocities

below 1.5 mm/s, the flow depicts a transient character.

This is shown by results obtained with a gas throughput of 0.66 mm/s. Several liquid circulation cells can

be observed in the column. They continuously change

L'

: 4,,'."

""

'

~"

.. "..,_ . , ~ ~ . ~ :

.:.

;' : "~"~"2 "

y ~ . . ' ~ , ,.

. ~Y,,'.::-

/g-i::

~.

!~.

~l,

photographs of the oscillating bubble swarm at two different

times (Becker et al., 1994).

their location and their size. The bubble swarm

motion is influenced by these vortices and therefore

rises in a meander-like way (Fig. 1).

7. S I M U L A T I O N RESULTS W I T H O U T BUBBLE PATH

DIFFUSION

All numerical simulations assume a two-dimensional rectangular geometry with height 150 cm and

width 50 cm. A regular numerical grid with 150 x 50

grid points was used. The simulation results obtained

with three different numerical algorithms were compared with each other: the Eulerian approach with

U P W I N D discretization of the gas holdup equation

(short: UPWIND), the Eulerian approach with TVD

discretization (short: TVD) and the Lagrangian approach for the gas equation (short: LAGRANGE).

Let us first neglect the path diffusion effects in the

gas phase. This means that the coefficients Dj in

eq.(14) and di in eq. (27) are assumed to be zero.

Figure 2 depicts the gas holdup pattern in the bubble

column, 5 s after the onset of the aeration. A tremendous influence of the numerical diffusion in the Eulerian solution obtained with the UPWIND discretization

technique can be recognized. This is not due to the

Eulerian approach as the results obtained with the

TVD method demonstrate. The results obtained with

the TVD method look much more similar to the gas

distribution which results from the Lagrangian simulation. We thus can conclude that the U P W I N D

technique leads to strong numerical diffusion effects.

The amount of numerical diffusion in vertical and

horizontal directions is proportional to the local vertical and horizontal gas velocity components. In the

UPWIND

TVD

617

velocity component prevails over the horizontal velocity component in the region where the gas phase is

present, leading to a much higher numerical diffusion

in the vertical direction than in the horizontal one (see

Fig. 2, left). The evolution of the velocity field during

the first 48 s after the beginning of the aeration obtained with the Lagrangian approach (Fig. 3) shows,

however, a continuously changing velocity pattern,

leading to different local numerical diffusion effects at

each time step. This means that the effect of numerical

diffusion of the U P W I N D method is completely uncontrollable and its influence on the distribution of

the gas phase has an unpredictable character.

The comparison of the liquid velocity patterns 60 s

after the onset of the aeration (Fig. 4) shows a very

good agreement between the TVD and the LAGRANGE results. Also the UPWIND solution shows

a good qualitative agreement with the other two solutions. For the better quantitative comparison between

the simulation results obtained with all three

methods, the vertical liquid velocity profiles at height

100 cm are presented in Fig. 5. We see that the TVD

and the LAGRANGE solutions are close to each

other, whereas the velocity variation in the U P W I N D

solution is about a factor 2 smaller.

Figures 6 and 7 show the comparison of the liquid

velocity patterns at t = 120 and t = 180 s. Even 180 s

after the onset of the aeration, the TVD and the

LAGRANGE solutions are in good qualitative agreement, whereas the UPWIND solution already leads to

different results at 120 s. The comparison of the evolution of the vertical liquid velocity component in time,

LAGRANGE

[]

0.28%

[]

0.42%

0.56%

0.69%

0.97%

[]

1.25%

N

1.39%

[]

Fig. 2. Locally aerated bubble column. Distribution of the gas holdup 5 s after the beginning of the

aeration calculated with three models. Diffusion term is assumed to be zero.

A. Sokolichin et al.

618

Time: 9.4 s

Time: 11.2 s

Time: 13.0 s

..-,

Time: 15.0 s

Time: 19.0 s

~1~;i, :. :-:-:,~,l

td'

'r

',~'.'l

I'

~ , :

' ','t

'"'""~ ~

~'"'-~/

< :.:,:,,,,

:: :'I I

I ~'/illl~ ','.'~t

,:I

,,t,,:-;i

'-~II~iittb

"i:','

h;.. ",'.<.>:,:,:,

:,:..:t~:,.,:,:,..:,:+ !~"."71','<,

i!!~i}

.~,:;: ...:.:.:,:.:

,,,h~ ,..:.:.:.:,:, l~:.::::',:::

:::::::::::::::::::::::!::'-

,'>,]~l{r6-?,h'--'")ilNi

,,',~t~-::,S;J, u ~ ,i

:.i,?) i:::':.;:;':;.'.

tu.

',~llt,{--_<f/>,,,

i~..,,rll.>_-'..;,',,,,,,,

Time: 27.0 s

Time: 35.0 s

~..',, },,.-:---:..,?

'..>:. >>>>>>: i.

t)

~-'~l I

t~)t,.:,

,

t! 7#/D}~,,'.",

l,j~tll',: : : '

ff~fif;

I1

[!:J:71

".-

Time: 42.0 s

!t,.

f ";'7.~>>1

'?i

Time: 48.0 s

['r//,

~.~'~ i~

,'t','."

,,,'-~?! ~--',

~_

,:,;.,.

It,'.i~t

~!I,!%I1[1" ;':-,-.,#1

.'--'J1

I/b-:,II.-:--:-.'.',,,,,

P,:::.: ::::: :.: :;:,.::

"."

Time: 22.0 s

;!

~'tL ::t'

iglIlI

~////~4,': :'

~/~,~,..-.,

lit,':i~ [~f!2"::',

i!ti! '>':::

N\\':::-:';

71 "><

fthttltih]i:

I 'J

~I,':'

;Ii

,':i

i

tI!::Nt!L::

dlltlfftl,',:::,'i

iltfJl/t!(,:.::+

#-','

7zi,,]ttlt4

:,~tIlIl[?:::::!Nltl

t,\\\"~.-_"!,Jlttt

iI',t;i,,g

-:,,',

7,~.",: : 7;17tmI

Fig. 3. Locally aerated bubble column. Evolution of the liquid velocity field during the first 48 s after the

beginning of the aeration. Lagrangian approach without diffusion. (Here and subsequently velocity vectors

are shown only at each 8th grid point; the vertical vector in the left bottom corner of each plot corresponds

to the velocity of 10 cm/s.)

8), also shows quantitative agreement between the

T V D and the L A G R A N G E solutions. This is a rather

striking result since different numerical solutions of an

intrinsically unstable dynamical system tend to deviate more and more from each other as time proceeds.

As a matter of fact, such a deviation can also be

observed for longer simulation times. Figure 9 shows

the long-time behavior of the liquid velocity component at point A. After about 4 rain the agreement between the TVD and the L A G R A N G E solution

vanishes. Later on, however, a quasiperiodic solution

is established which is again in close accordance for

shows a completely different single-periodic behavior.

Let us now look at the void fraction distribution

calculated with the three methods for t = 60s

(Fig. 10). If we compare the TVD and the L A G R A N G E

solution with the photographs in Fig. 1, we must state

that the radial dispersion in the gas phase cannot be

reproduced by both methods, whereas the U P W I N D

solution seems to perform much better. Even under

strongly fluctuating flow conditions (see Fig. 3) the

spread of the bubble plume calculated with T V D or

L A G R A N G E method is much smaller than observed

experimentally. This shows that the different medium

619

UPWIND

TVD

LAGRANGE

Fig, 4. Instantaneous liquid velocity field at 60 s after beginning of the aeration calculated with different

methods (no diffusion is considered).

solution (Fig. 10, left) is of course a consequence of the

numerical diffusion which in our case happens to have

about the right order of magnitude. If the space grid is

further refined however, the numerical diffusion of the

U P W I N D solution decreases and the spread of the

bubble plume would also decrease.

20

""N

10

~'/ ...."........................

~,,"*~.....

/

/

,.-'

.-"

.....

\

....,....

/,."

-'II....

-10

x\

...............i !

LAGRANGE

UPWIND

-20

-30

0

....

S. S I M U L A T I O N

10

20

30

40

DISTANCE FROM THE LEFT WALL [cm]

50

Time = 60 s after beginning of the aeration calculated with

different methods (no diffusion is considered).

size vortices of the computed flow field do not disperse the bubble flow sufficiently. Instead, the dispersion is caused by numerous small vortices and flow

variations caused by the liquid flow around individual

bubbles or bubble clusters. Since our model does not

resolve these small-scale phenomena, some appropriate corrections become necessary. In the following,

diffusion term D in the gas holdup equation (5) will be

used as a first approximation.

RESULTS

WITH DIFFUSION

dispersion model is necessary to obtain a physically

reasonable distribution of the gas phase. We will

therefore use the procedure described in Section 5.2 to

obtain compatible dispersion parameter values for the

TVD and LAGRANGE solutions. Before doing so,

a validation of the algorithm, eq. (27), as well as of the

equivalence relation, eq. (35), is necessary since they

have been obtained on more or less intuitive arguments. For the validation only the gas holdup equation (14) for a constant liquid velocity field will be

solved with TVD and LAGRANGE methods and the

results compared. Note that the Lagrangian technique is used here in order to solve the continuous gas

dispersion term in eq. (14). Computationally this is

not the most efficient way of using this technique,

however, this allows for a direct comparison of the

results obtained with different techniques.

620

A. Sokolichin et al.

UPWIND

TVD

LAGRANGE

Fig. 6. Instantaneous liquid velocity field at 120 s after beginning of the aeration calculated with different

methods (no diffusion is considered).

UPWIND

TVD

LAGRANGE

Fig. 7. Instantaneous liquid velocity field at 180 s after beginning of the aeration calculated with different

methods (no diffusion is considered).

621

20

~ .

']'wrjD

..

t

10

......... UPWIND

i

i"

i~

..,.

,

1500

.....

[tl

/01

90o

35]1_

-10

-20

-30

3O

60

90

120

150

180

TIME [s]

Fig. 8. Vertical liquid velocity at position A calculated with different methods (no diffusion is considered).

15

0

-15

-30

>[..,

15

>

-15

-30

15

0

-15

-30

0

500

1000

1500

TIME [s]

2000

2500

3000

Fig. 9. Long-time vertical liquid velocity fluctuation at position A (see Fig. 8) calculated with different

methods (no diffusion is considered).

8.1. T e s t p r o b l e m

Let us consider the gas holdup equation (14) in two

dimensions. We assume the components of ug and the

diffusion coefficients Di to be known and constant,

and consider uniform convection only in the vertical

direction and diffusion only in the horizontal direction. U n d e r these assumptions eq. (14) simplifies to

e t = - - (~U)x + Deyy

(36)

coordinate directions, u the vertical velocity and D the

horizontal diffusion coefficient. We assume the following values for u and D: u = 20 cm/s, D = 4.1(6) cm2/s;

the latter corresponds to the disturbance coefficient

d = 10 cm/s t/2. This means that two G P P s with the

same coordinates at time t = to can be a maximum

distance of 10 cm apart at time t = to + 1, if time step

At = 1 s is used.

We solve eq. (36) in the same calculation domain

as described in Section 7 and with the initial condition e(t = 0, x, y ) = 0, and the boundary condition

e(t, x, y = 0) = 0.05 for x ~ [ 1 3 em, 16 cm]. After 7.5 s

622

A. Sokolichin et al.

UPWIND

LAGRANGE

TVD

0.13%

0.25%

0.38%

0.63%

0.76%

1.01%

I

1.14%

[]

1.27%

[]

Fig. 10. Locally aerated bubble column. Distribution of the gas hold-up 60 s after the beginning of the

aeration calculated with three models. Diffusion term is assumed to be zero.

~.44

0.89

1.33

1.77

2.66

3.10

4.43

[]

a

Fig. 11. Simulation results for convection-diffnsion test problem with constant vertical velocity and

constant horizontal diffusion:(a) stationary TVD solution; (b) instantaneous positions of 45,630 GPPs in

Lagrangian method; (c)Lagrangian solution with 45,630GPPs; (d) Lagrangian solution with

180,566 GPPs.

calculation domain and the solution of eq. (36) becomes stationary. The corresponding numerical

stationary solution calculated with TVD method is

shown in Fig. 11 (a). In the frame of the LAGRANGE

method no stationary solution can be reached, because the positions of the GPPs [Fig. ll(b)] are

continuously changing in time. However, if the generation rate of GPPs is high enough, the time variation of the calculated gas holdup distribution varies

only slightly in time, so we can speak of a quasistationary solution of the Lagrangian approach. One

such quasistationary distribution of the gas holdup is

shown in Fig. 1l(c). At that time the total number of

GPPs in the calculation domain equals 45,630. Although a good qualitative agreement can be found

between Figs 11 (a) and (c), the Lagrangian solution is

not very smooth. Only after increase of the generation

rate of GPPs by a factor 4 can we get the smooth

solution presented in the Fig. 11 (d) (corresponding to

623

20

A,

t.0

[-~.-~, LAGRANGE(180566GPP~)~

LAGRANGE

UPWIND

630 GPPs )l

.:.,,

:.

I m ~ . ,rv D

~TVD

0.8

t0

0.6

-10

0.4

>

0.2

0,0

-20

-313

0

10

20

30

40

DISTANCE FROM THE ~

WALL [crn]

50

convection~liffusiontest problem with constant vertical velocity and constant horizontal diffusion: stationary TVD

solution, Lagrangian solutions with different numbers of

GPPs.

t

t

30

60

90

TIME lsl

120

150

180

calculated with different methods (d2 = 5 cm/sa'Z).

15

0

-15

TVD

15

0

-15

LAGRANGE ]

15

0

-15

0

500

1000

TIME [s]

1500

2000

Fig. 14. Long-time vertical liquid velocity fluctuation at position A (see Fig. 8) calculated with different

methods (d2 = 5 cm/st'2).

quantitative comparison between the solutions, the

gas holdup profiles at the height 100 cm calculated

with different models are presented in Fig. 12.

As a result it can be stated that gas-phase dispersion can be modeled with equal accuracy by both the

Eulerian-TVD as well as the Lagrangian approach

provided that a rather high n u m b e r of G P P s is used in

the latter case. The required big n u m b e r of G P P s may

present computational problems if industrial-scale reactors have to be simulated, since the computational

time is roughly proportional to the G P P number,

Let us now compare the simulation results for the

whole two-phase system in the presence of diffusion in

the gas phase. Since a comparison of Fig. 1 l(b) with

the photographs in Fig. 1 shows a somewhat larger

spread in the calculated flow, only half of the disturbance coefficient of Fig. 11 (b) is used in the horizontal

direction: d2 = 5 c m / s 1/2 (resp. D 2 = 1.041(6)cruZ/s).

The diffusion in the vertical direction is assumed to be

negligible (dl = 0, D1 = 0). Figures 13 and 14 now

correspond to Figs 8 and 9 (without diffusion). We can

see that the TVD and the L A G R A N G E solutions

624

A. Sokolichin et al.

again show very similar long-time behavior and the

U P W I N D method gives a totally different solution.

Figure 15 shows the distribution of the GPPs in

L A G R A N G E solution at two different times, and we

can now observe a great similarity with the photographs in Fig. 1.

Fig. 15. Simulation results for a locally aerated bubble column with Lagrangian approach (dz = 5 cm/sl/2). Instantaneous positions of GPPs at two different times.

9. UNIFORM AERATION

The next test example is the dynamical simulation

of a bubble column which is aerated uniformly over

its entire bottom. Visual observation shows that at

low superficial gas velocity a so-called homogeneous

flow structure prevails, where the bubbles rise uniformly through an essentially stagnant liquid. As the

superficial gas velocity is increased, an instationary

flow structure develops, where vortices are created

close to the gas distributor and move upwards and

sideways in a rather irregular way. Long-term

measurements of the gas holdup distribution and of

the liquid velocities show the well-known picture of

an increased gas holdup in the middle of the column,

leading to an overall liquid circulation with upflow in

the center and downflow near the walls (Grienberger

and Hofmann, 1992).

The simulation results for the same flat column as

specified in section 6 with uniform aeration over the

entire bottom obtained with the Lagrangian approach

(d2 = 5 cm/s 1/2) are given in Fig. 16. The simulations

show that above a minimum value of the superficial

gas velocity of about 2 cm/s an unsteady flow structure

Fig. 16. Uniformly aerated bubble column: instantaneous (left, middle) and long-time-averaged (right)

simulation results of liquid velocity field. Lagrangian approach with diffusion (d2 = 5 cm/sl/2). Superficial

gas velocity equals 2 cm/s.

625

20

0

-20

-40

20

0

-20

-40

2 1

0

-20

--40

0

10

20

30

40

50

DISTANCEFROMTHE LEFTWALL[cm]

Fig, 17. Uniformly aerated bubble column: long time averaged vertical liquid velocity profilesat three differentheights

calculated with different methods.

develops. If the calculated local velocities are averaged over a longer time period, as is done in the

usual bubble column measurements, a regular flow

structure with one overall circulation cell results

(Fig. 16, right).

It is not possible to make a direct quantitative

comparison between instantaneous flow pattern resuits obtained with all three methods, because of the

chaotic character of the solution. However, we can

make an indirect comparison through the calculation

of the long-time-averaged velocity patterns. The corresponding vertical liquid velocity profiles at three

different heights calculated with LAGRANGE, TVD

and U P W I N D methods are shown in Fig. 17. As in

the case of a locally aerated bubble column we can

state a very good quantitative agreement between the

TVD and the LAGRANGE solutions. The U P W I N D

method leads again to quantitatively different results.

The influence of the numerical diffusion in the case of

a uniformly aerated bubble column is, however, not so

high as in the case of a locally aerated bubble column,

due to the smoother distribution of the gas phase.

For the transport phenomena in the two-phase

flow, the instantaneous and not the long-time-averaged velocities are of decisive importance. If we now

take a look at the representative instantaneous liquid

velocity patterns calculated with the LAGRANGE

(Fig. 16, middle), the TVD (Fig. 18, left) and the

U P W I N D (Fig. 18, right) methods, we can see that the

U P W I N D solution depicts a qualitatively different

behavior with a much lower number of vortices as in

the other two solutions. So we can state that also in

the case of a uniformly aerated bubble column, the

U P W I N D method leads to a qualitatively different

solution compared to the LAGRANGE and the TVD

approaches.

simulation results of liquid velocity field calculated with

TVD (left) and UPWIND (right) methods.

10. CONCLUSIONS

From the chemical reaction engineering point of

view, fluid dynamical models are required for a proper

description of fluid mixing and contacting patterns,

i.e. they model the way by which materials flow

through the reactor and contact each other in order to

react chemically (e.g. Levenspiel, 1989). Hence, the

local transport properties are of primary importance.

In this light it is essential that numerical diffusion

effects which corrupt the numerical simulation results

are kept under control. Such numerical diffusion effects are of particular importance for the bubble column reactors considered in this paper, since flow in

bubble columns is essentially buoyancy driven. Strong

diffusional transports, however, may degradate the

density gradients. Numerical diffusion will, thus, lead

to incorrect driving forces in the simulations.

Simple numerical solution techniques such as the

commonly applied U P W I N D technique may lead to

unacceptable numerical diffusion effects. This artificial diffusion exceeds the naturally appearing diffusion considerably, often by orders of magnitude. In

principle it would be possible to compensate for this

deficiency by using finer numerical grids. Practically,

this counter measure is limited by the available computing power. Even with the finest grids which can be

handled with today's computers, the numerical diffusion effects appearing in the U P W I N D solutions are

much larger than the real ones.

Consequently, more sophisticated numerical integration schemes must be applied which are much

more immune to numerical diffusion. Here we

discussed the TVD as a reasonable alternative. It is

626

A. Sokolichin et al.

order of accuracy as the solutions obtained with the

Euler/Lagrange method which is not affected by numerical diffusion.

A comparison of the numerical solutions of the

model equations obtained with the TVD-technique

which can be used in Euler/Euler representations and

the LAGRANGE technique showed that the resulting

flow patterns agree quantitatively over a surprisingly

long period of simulation time. This is particularly

interesting since the model equations are capable of

instable chaotic solutions where two solutions with

slightly different initial conditions will not lead to the

same long-time results.

Consequently, the results obtained with the TVD

and the LAGRANGE technique can be regarded to

be equivalent. The results presented can also be considered as a kind of validation of both numerical

codes since both solution procedures are much different. On the other hand, it has not been possible to

obtain similar agreement even qualitatively with the

U P W I N D technique, which is the common

approach to handle the gas-phase motion in the

Euler/Euler approach.

The implementations of the TVD and the

LAGRANGE techniques differ considerably from

each other with respect to the computing times required. In systems which are not sensitive to diffusion,

the LAGRANGE technique is considerably faster

than the TVD technique, since for reasons of stability,

the TVD method requires much smaller time steps for

the integration of the gas holdup equation than the

LAGRANGE method. In cases where diffusion effects

cannot be neglected, the LAGRANGE method becomes less effective if the dispersion effects are to be

modeled by a diffusion-type continuous equation.

When large bubble numbers are to be considered,

the LAGRANGE method might become slower because of the big number of GPPs to be handled.

However, it proved to be possible to follow the trajectories of individual bubble clusters instead of single

bubbles.

In cases where the gas holdup is too large (> 10%)

none of the presented techniques can provide reliable

results since the bubble-bubble interactions must then

be taken into account. Presently, there is no reasonable physical model available for such situations.

Acknowledgement

Cdrag

d

D

g

P

t

T

U

NOTATION

drag force coefficient, g/(cm 3 s)

disturbance coefficient, cm/s 1/2

diffusion coefficient, cm2/s

acceleration due to gravity, 981 cm/s 2

pressure, dyn/cm 2

time, s

stress tensor, dyn/cm 2

velocity vector, cm/s

Greek letters

6(x)

three-dimensional Dirac's delta function

e

gas holdup, dimensionless

/~

viscosity, g/(cm s)

p

density, g/cm 3

V

gradient operator, cm-1

Subscripts

eft

g

l

effective

gas phase

liquid phase

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