Coalescence and Break-Up of Drops and Bubbles
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Fluid particle break-up and coalescence are important phenomena in a number of industrial processes. A Lagrangian momentum balance model for the collision process between two fluid particles has been developed and tested favorably against experimental data. It is based on an earlier model developed in our department. Oscillations were introduced and the volume balances that are solved avoid earlier approximations. Film drainage was also implemented into the model based on a literature review given. It is believed this approach will lead to a more fundamental modeling of the coalescence process. An improved break-up model has been developed. It is an extension of earlier work at the department and it introduces an additional criterion for break-up. This criterion gives a lower limit for the daughter fragment sizes in binary break-up, thus also limiting the break-up of smaller fluid particles, and is a more consistent model than the earlier one. Two break-up models, original model by Luo (1993) and improved model, and a coalescence model have been implemented in a population balance as algebraic sink and source terms. This population balance is in turn included in an in-house CFD-code. The models have been tested against experimental data from a bubble column in our laboratory, and the improved break-up model compares favorably with the experimentally obtained accumulated mass distribution. Too few bubbles are predicted in the lower population classes, but it is shown that this may as well be a result of the coalescence model used as the improved break-up model.
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