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The effect of the physical properties of the liquid phase on the gas-liquid mass transfer coefficient in two- and three-phase agitated systems

Anna Kiełbus-Rąpała, Joanna Karcz, and Magdalena Cudak

Department of Chemical Engineering, West Pomeranian University of Technology, al. Piastow 42, PL-71 065 Szczecin, Poland



Abstract: The results of studies concerning two- and three-phase systems in an agitated vessel are presented. The aim of our research was to investigate the effect of the physical properties of the liquid phase on the value of the volumetric gas-liquid mass transfer coefficient in mechanically agitated gas-liquid and gas-solid-liquid systems. Our experimental studies were conducted in a vessel with an internal diameter of 0.288 m. The flat bottom vessel, equipped with four baffles, was filled with liquid up to a height equal to the inner diameter. The liquid volume was 0.02 m3. Three high-speed impellers of a diameter equal to 0.33 of the vessel diameter were used: Rushton turbine (RT), Smith turbine (CD 6), or A 315 impeller. The measurements were carried out in coalescing and non-coalescing systems. Distilled water and aqueous solutions of an electrolyte (sodium chloride) of two different concentrations were used as the liquid phase. The gas phase was air. In the three-phase system, particles of sea sand were used as solid phase. The measurements were conducted at five different gas-flow rates and three particle loadings. Volumetric gas-liquid mass transfer coefficients were measured using the dynamic method. The presence and concentration of an electrolyte strongly affected the value of the gas-liquid mass transfer coefficient in both two- and three-phase systems. For all agitators used, significantly higher k l a coefficient values were obtained in the 0.4 kmol m−3 and 0.8 kmol m−3 aqueous NaCl solutions compared with the data for a coalescing system (with distilled water as the liquid phase). The k l a coefficient did not exhibit a linear relationship with the electrolyte concentration. An increase in the sodium chloride concentration from 0.4 kmol m−3 to 0.8 kmol m−3 caused a considerable decrease in the volumetric mass transfer coefficient in both the two-phase and three-phase systems. It was concluded that the mass transfer processes improved at a certain concentration of ions; however, above this concentration no further increase in k l a could be achieved.

Keywords: agitation – multi-phase system – volumetric mass transfer coefficient – coalescence

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-011-0004-7


Chemical Papers 65 (2) 185–192 (2011)

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