The Limerick bubbly flow rig: Design, performance, hold-up and mixing pattern

Corné Muilwijk*, Harry E.A. Van den Akker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


As Euler-Euler CFD simulations of bubbly flows suffer from uncertainties due to the many underpinning models, there is an obvious need of accurate experimental data for validation. With this in mind, a new bubbly flow test rig was built to be operated with and without liquid co-flow, with bubble size as uniform as possible in the range 4–7 mm, and with a very even horizontal bubble distribution. We designed the gas sparging system such that we can also produce an essentially bi-modal bubble size distribution. The column consists of two square sections to allow for studying the mixing of two originally separated bubbly flows with either the same or a different bubble size. The bubbles are produced from 2 × 196 needles, bubble sizes are determined with high-speed imaging and with a simple acoustical method, overall volume fractions in the column by means of air chamber pressure measurements. Overall volume fractions are presented as a function of gas and liquid flow rates, with slip velocity mostly increasing with increasing void fraction. First results are obtained on (a) producing bi-model bubble size distributions and the pertinent volume fractions in the column, and (b) flow patterns in the case of unequal aeration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-122
JournalChemical Engineering Research and Design
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Bi-modal bubble size
  • Bubble column design
  • Bubble formation
  • Gas hold-up
  • Mixing pattern
  • Multi-needle sparger


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