The present study used a sparged bubble column to study the mixing of a passive scalar under bubble-induced diffusion. The effect of gas superficial velocity (up to 69 mm/s) and external vertical vibrations (amplitudes up to 10 mm, frequency <23 Hz) on the mixing time scale were investigated. The bubble-induced mixing was characterized by tracking the distribution of a passive scalar within a sparged swarm of bubbles. Void fraction and bubble size distribution were also measured at each test condition. Without vibrations (static), the bubble column operated in the homogenous regime and the mixing time scale was insensitive to void fraction, which is consistent with the literature. In addition, the temporal evolution of the static column mixing was well approximated as an error function. With vertical vibrations at lower amplitudes tested, the bubble-induced mixing was restrained due to the suppression of the liquid velocity agitations in the bubble swarm wake, which decelerates mixing. Conversely, at higher amplitudes tested, vibration enhanced the bubble-induced mixing; this is attributed to bubble clustering and aggregation that produced void fraction gradients, which, in turn, induced a mean flow and accelerated the mixing. The vibration frequency for the range studied in the present work did not produce a significant effect on the mixing time. Analysis of the temporal evolution of the concentration of the passive scalar at a fixed point within the column revealed significant fluctuations with vibration. A dimensionally reasoned correlation is presented that scales the non-dimensional mixing time with the transient buoyancy number.
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