Simulation of Methane Mass Transfer in a Bubble Columni Incipient Turbulent Regime Using Comsol Multiphysics®
De Crescenzo, Carmen
Sabbarese, Simona
Ciampa, Renato
Capece, Giuseppe
Migliaccio, Antimo
Karatza, Despina
Chianese, Simeone
Musmarra, Dino

How to Cite

De Crescenzo C., Sabbarese S., Ciampa R., Capece G., Migliaccio A., Karatza D., Chianese S., Musmarra D., 2021, Simulation of Methane Mass Transfer in a Bubble Columni Incipient Turbulent Regime Using Comsol Multiphysics®, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 86, 1183-1188.


Bubble column reactors basically consist of a vertical cylinder filled by a liquid phase in which a gas phase is distributed in the liquid at the column bottom by an appropriate distributor system and moves along the column in the form of bubbles. The aim of a bubble column is to control the rate of mass transfer and reaction between the phases. The liquid phase is modelled as a continuous phase and can be operated in batch mode, or it may move co-currently or counter-currently to the flow of the gas phase. Two-phase and slurry bubble columns are widely used in the chemical- and biochemical industry for carrying out gas-liquid and gas-liquid-solid (catalytic) reaction; in particular, they are used for microalgae growth, aerobic fermentations processes, aerobic treatment of small quantities of highly polluted effluents, as well as oxidation, hydrogenation, chlorination, chemical gas cleaning and, also various biotechnological applications. In this paper, the mass transfer of CH4 to liquid in a bubble column was investigated by means of Computational Fluid Dynamic simulations in a turbulent regime. The effects of the variation of the most significant fluid dynamic parameters, such as inlet gas velocity, on CH4 concentration in the liquid phase and mass transfer from gas to liquid were studied by using COMSOL Multiphysics® Modeling Software. Results point out that the higher inlet velocities, the higher the mass transfer rate, which trend shows a pick after which it reduces to zero when CH4 concentration in the liquid becomes equal to saturation one.