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RESEARCH PAPERS

CFD Analysis of the Radiation Distribution in a New Immobilized Catalyst Bubble Column Externally Illuminated Photoreactor

[+] Author and Article Information
Francisco J. Trujillo, Tomasz Safinski

Reactor Engineering & Technology Group, School of Chemical Engineering & Industrial Chemistry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales 2052, Australia

Adesoji A. Adesina1

Reactor Engineering & Technology Group, School of Chemical Engineering & Industrial Chemistry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales 2052, Australia

1

Corresponding author.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 129(1), 27-36 (Apr 28, 2006) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2391013 History: Received July 08, 2005; Revised April 28, 2006

A new externally irradiated photoreactor configuration combining the excellent mass transfer characteristics of a bubble column operation with the separation power of an immobilized catalyst on quartz plates has been investigated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation. The radiative transport equation (RTE) in conjunction with the Navier-Stokes equations were solved to obtain the light incident radiative flux and the light absorbed by the immobilized titania as a function of the gas superficial velocity, the angle of inclination, and the separating distance between the plates. The model employed water and air as the fluid phases and the results indicated that gas bubbling considerably increased the incident radiation in the gas-liquid mixture enhancing the radiative flux and the absorbed radiation on the titania-coated plates. The CFD results pave the way for the optimization of a solar photocatalytic reactor for the degradation of organic pollutants.

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Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Reactor configuration. (1) Fluorescent UV lamp tubes. (2) Diffuser. (3) Quartz window. (4) Cooling jacket. (5) Mott perforated sparger plate. (6) Titania coated quartz plates.

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Figure 2

(a) Reflection and refraction on the bubble surface. (b) Light scattering on the bubble (taken from (30)). (c) Scattering phase function. βc=180-2θc=83.4°.

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Figure 3

(a) Liquid velocity profile. (b) Gas hold-up. (c) Scattering coefficient. (i) Vertical quartz plate. (ii) 45° inclined plate.

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Figure 4

(a) Intensity radiation in the middle of the reactor (δ=22.5°). (b) Local hemispherical radiative flux qλ on the directly illuminated wall surface of the plate. (c) Local hemispherical radiative flux on the undersidewall surface of the plate. (i) zero gas flow rate. (ii) Vs=0.025ms−1.

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Figure 5

(a) qλ vs. Vs for the right wall surface of the vertical plate. (b) qλ vs. Vs for both walls of the plate inclined at δ=45°. (c) qλ,av vs. Vs at different inclination angles for 100% diffuse light. (d) qλ,av vs. Vs at different inclination angles for 50–50% diffuse-direct light.

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Figure 6

(a) Incident radiation in the middle of the reactor with 3 vertical plates at different angles (Vs=0.025m∕s). (b) Both sides average hemispherical incident radiative flux qλ,av vs. plate separation distance at different angles (Vs=0.025m∕s).

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