In order to optimize and design new bubbly flow reactors, it is necessary to predict the bubble behavior and properties with respect to the time and location. In gas-liquid flows, it is easily observed that the bubble sizes may vary widely. The bubble size distribution is relatively sharply defined, and bubble rises are uniform in homogeneous flow; however bubbles aggregate, and large bubbles are formed rapidly in heterogeneous flow. To assist in the analysis of these systems, the volume, size and other properties of dispersed bubbles can be described mathematically by distribution functions. Therefore, a mathematical modeling tool called the Population Balance Model (PBM) is required to predict the distribution functions of the bubble motion and the variation of their properties. In the present paper, two rectangular bubble columns and a water electrolysis reactor are modeled using the open-source Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) package OpenFOAM. Furthermore, the Method of Classes (CM) and Quadrature-based Moments Method (QBMM) are described, implemented and compared using the developed CFD-PBM solver. These PBM tools are applied in two bubbly flow cases: bubble columns (using a Eulerian-Eulerian two-phase approach to predict the flow) and a water electrolysis reactor (using a single-phase approach to predict the flow). The numerical results are compared with measured data available in the scientific literature. It is observed that the Extended Quadrature Method of Moments (EQMOM) leads to a slight improvement in the prediction of experimental measurements and provides a continuous reconstruction of the Number Density Function (NDF), which is helpful in the modeling of gas evolution electrodes in the water electrolysis reactor.
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