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Controlling microbubbles in alcohol solutions by using a multi‐channel ceramic membrane distributor

Liu, Yefei, Han, Yang, Li, Xiaoli, Jiang, Hong, Chen, Rizhi
Journal of chemical technology and biotechnology 2018 v.93 no.8 pp. 2456-2463
butanol, ceramics, mass transfer, microbubbles
BACKGROUND: Microbubbles are gaining more attention in environmental, medical, agricultural and industrial processes. Alcohol addition plays an important role in controlling microbubble generation. The effect of n‐butanol concentration on microbubble characteristics has not been studied, thus experiments have been done to investigate the control of microbubbles in alcohol solutions. RESULTS: Microbubbles were successfully generated using a 19‐channel ceramic membrane. The bubble Sauter diameter was found to decrease with increasing n‐butanol concentration. Increasing cross flow velocity and decreasing superficial gas velocity resulted in smaller bubbles. Gas holdup and specific interfacial area was found to increase with increasing n‐butanol concentration. The volumetric mass transfer coefficient Kₗa was found to increase with increasing n‐butanol concentration, following the trend in specific interfacial area. Increasing cross‐flow velocity and superficial gas velocity resulted in increased Kₗa. CONCLUSIONS: Bubble characteristics in solutions with different n‐butanol concentrations are very different. Alcohol addition is an important way to generate smaller bubbles and larger gas holdup. © 2018 Society of Chemical Industry