Research Papers

Predicting Hydrodynamic and Heat Transfer Effects of Sparger Geometry and Placement Within a Column Photobioreactor Using Computational Fluid Dynamics

[+] Author and Article Information
Ghazi S. Bari

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
South Dakota State University,
Crothers Engineering Hall 338,
Brookings, SD 57007
e-mail: Ghazi.Bari@sdstate.edu

Taylor N. Suess

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
South Dakota State University,
Crothers Engineering Hall 356,
Brookings, SD 57007
e-mail: Taylor.Suess@jacks.sdstate.edu

Gary A. Anderson

Department of Agricultural
and Biosystems Engineering,
South Dakota State University,
Agricultural Engineering Hall 115,
Brookings, SD 57007
e-mail: Gary.Anderson@sdstate.edu

Stephen P. Gent

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
South Dakota State University,
Crothers Engineering Hall 254,
Brookings, SD 57007
e-mail: Stephen.Gent@sdstate.edu

1Current address: School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Washington State University, P.O. Box 642940, Pullman, WA 99164, e-mail: GhaziSaiful.Bari@wsu.edu.

2Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received November 27, 2013; final manuscript received December 20, 2013; published online February 11, 2014. Editor: Nigel M. Sammes.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 11(3), 031010 (Feb 11, 2014) (10 pages) Paper No: FC-13-1115; doi: 10.1115/1.4026525 History: Received November 27, 2013; Revised December 20, 2013

This research investigates the effects of the sparger on flow patterns and heat transfer within a column photobioreactor (PBR) using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). This study compares two types of spargers: a porous membrane, which occupies the entire floor of the reactor, and a single sparger, which is located along the centerline of the PBR floor. The PBR is modeled using the Lagrangian–Eulerian approach. The objective of this research is to predict the performance of PBRs using CFD models, which can be used to improve the design of PBRs used to grow microalgae that are used to produce biofuels and bioproducts.

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Fig. 2

Volumetric mesh of column photobioreactor (isometric view)

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Fig. 1

Cross section of photobioreactor in the laboratory

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Fig. 4

Liquid flow patterns for (a) porous sparger PBR and (b) single sparger PBR in 13 l/min volume flow rate

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Fig. 5

Velocity profile of right side and front side view of the (a) porous sparger and (b) single sparger PBR

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Fig. 6

Temperature profile of right side and front side view of the (a) porous sparger and (b) single sparger PBR

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Fig. 7

(a) Relationship between bubble average heat transfer coefficient and superficial gas velocity, (b) relationship between bubble average Reynolds number and superficial gas velocity

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Fig. 3

Bubble flow patterns for (a) porous sparger PBR and (b) single sparger PBR in 13 l/min volume flow rate




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