A Model for the Fate of a Gas Bubble Interacting with a Wire Mesh

Rahul Subburaj, Yali Tang (Corresponding author), Niels G. Deen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


In the concept of a microstructured bubble column reactor, microstructuring of the catalyst carrier is realized by introducing a static mesh of thin wires coated with catalyst inside the column. Meanwhile, the wires also serve the purpose of cutting the bubbles, which in turn results in high interfacial area and enhanced interface hydrodynamics. However, there are no models that can predict the fate of bubbles (cut/stuck) passing through these wires, thus making the reactor optimization difficult. In this work, based on several typical bubble-wire interacting configurations, we analyze the outcomes by applying the energy balance of the bubble focusing on buoyancy and surface tension. Two limiting cases of viscosity, corresponding to the ability of the bubble to reconfigure into the lowest energy state, are investigated. Upon analysis, it is observed that a narrow mesh spacing and a smaller bubble Eötvös number generally result in bubbles getting stuck underneath the wire. We have obtained the threshold grid spacing and the critical Eötvös number for bubble passage and bubble cutting, which are verified by the direct numerical simulation results of bubble passing through a single mesh opening. The derived energy balance is generalized to large meshes with multiple openings and different configurations. Finally, a closure model based on the outcomes of energy-balance analysis is proposed for Euler-Lagrange simulations of microstructured bubble columns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19302-19310
Number of pages9
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number45
Early online date8 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2023


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