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Gas to liquid mass transfer in rheologically complex fluids

Abstract : The increase of studies relaying on gas to liquid mass transfer in digested sludge (shear thinning fluid) necessitates a better understanding of the impact of apparent viscosity (μa) and rheology in process performance. Mass transfer retardation due to μa variations was investigated in a pilot scale absorption bubble column for Newtonian and shear thinning fluids with varied superficial gas velocities (UG). A non-linear reduction of mass transfer efficiency with increasing μa was observed, being the impact higher at low μa ranges and high UG. An increase of 114 cPo in μ from 1.01 to 115 cPo in glycerol solutions saturated with UG = 1.73 cm s−1 led to a reduction of 96% in kLa (α = 0.04), while a comparable raise from 115 to 229 cPo implied a reduction of 52% (α = 0.02). Slug–annular flow regime was identified for shear thinning fluids of high μa (1.0% and 1.5% carboxymethyl cellulose sodium salt solutions), where bubble buoyancy was conditioned by the μ of the fluid at rest and the active volume for mass transfer was reduced because of the presence of stagnant areas. Conditions imitating the rheological variability of anaerobically digested sewage sludge were included within those tested, being a reduction in gas transfer efficiency of 6 percentage points (from 7.6 ± 0.3% to 1.6 ± 0.1%) recorded when increasing μa from 130 to 340 cPo. It is thus recommended that rheology and μa variability are accounted for within the design of gas to liquid mass transfer systems involving digested sewage sludge, in order to avoid reductions in process performance and active volume
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Submitted on : Monday, June 29, 2015 - 3:58:09 PM
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Y. Bajón Fernández, E. Cartmell, A. Soares, E. Mcadam, P. Vale, et al.. Gas to liquid mass transfer in rheologically complex fluids. Chemical Engineering Journal, Elsevier, 2015, 273, pp.656--667. ⟨10.1016/j.cej.2015.03.051⟩. ⟨hal-01169300⟩

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