Chemical Engineering Science, Vol.202, 447-461, 2019
Numerical investigation of liquid dispersion by hydrophobic/hydrophilic mesh packing using particle method
Liquid dispersion in chemical processes is significant for increasing mass or heat transfer. A particle-based method, the moving particle semi-implicit (MPS) method, was employed in this study to simulate the process of liquid dispersion by mesh packing. The computational framework includes a designed inlet flow model, hydrophilic/hydrophobic surface boundary conditions, and a surface tension model. This study mainly focuses on the effect of hydrophobic/hydrophilic mesh packing on liquid dispersion performance. The mechanism of liquid dispersion is systematically investigated in basic situations as a liquid passing through a single wire, an orthogonal wire and a single aperture. The results indicate that hydrophobic and hydrophilic mesh packing have different effects on the formation of the free surface, which is the key to the mechanism of the liquid dispersion process. Hydrophobic mesh packing can disperse a liquid into several fine columns with detected droplets, which further develop into fine droplets, whereas hydrophilic mesh packing will guide a liquid to converge into a column at the bottom of the mesh packing. In addition, the surface area density and dispersion range of a liquid are quantitatively analyzed to illustrate liquid dispersion performance. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.