This work concerns the performance of bubble columns equipped with porous sparger and investigates the effect of gas phase properties by conducting experiments with various gases (i.e., air, CO2
, He) that cover a wide range of physical property values. The purpose is to investigate the validity of the design equations, which were proposed in our previous work and can predict with reasonable accuracy the transition point from homogeneous to heterogeneous regime as well as the gas holdup and the mean Sauter diameter at the homogeneous regime. Although, the correlations were checked with data obtained using different geometrical configurations and several Newtonian and non-Newtonian liquids, as well as the addition of surfactants, the gas phase was always atmospheric air. The new experiments revealed that only the use of low-density gas (He) has a measurable effect on bubble column performance. More precisely, when the low-density gas (He) is employed, the transition point shifts to higher gas flow rates and the gas holdup decreases, a fact attributed to the lower momentum force exerted by the gas. In view of the new data, the proposed correlations have been slightly modified to include the effect of gas phase properties and it is found that they can predict the aforementioned quantities with an accuracy of ±15%. It has been also proved that computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations are an accurate means for assessing the flow characteristics inside a bubble column.
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