The current study experimentally examines bubble size distribution (BSD) within a bubble column and the associated characteristic length scales. Air was injected into a column of water via a single injection tube. The column diameter (63–102 mm), injection tube diameter (0.8–1.6 mm) and superficial gas velocity (1.4–55 mm/s) were varied. Large samples (up to 54,000 bubbles) of bubble sizes measured via 2D imaging were used to produce probability density functions (PDFs). The PDFs were used to identify an alternative length scale termed the most frequent bubble size (dmf
) and defined as the peak in the PDF. This length scale as well as the traditional Sauter mean diameter were used to assess the sensitivity of the BSD to gas injection rate, injector tube diameter, injection tube angle and column diameter. The dmf
was relatively insensitive to most variation, which indicates these bubbles are produced by the turbulent wakes. In addition, the current work examines higher order statistics (standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis) and notes that there is evidence in support of using these statistics to quantify the influence of specific parameters on the flow-field as well as a potential indicator of regime transitions.
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