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AIChE Journal, Vol.66, No.2, 2020
Hydrodynamics and local mass transfer characterization under gas-liquid-liquid slug flow in a rectangular microchannel
Gas-liquid-liquid three-phase slug flow was generated in a glass microreactor with rectangular microchannel, where aqueous slugs were distinguished by relative positions to air bubbles and organic droplets. Oxygen from bubbles reacted with resazurin in slugs, leading to prominent color changes, which was used to quantify mass transfer performance. The development of slug length indicated a film flow through the corner between bubbles and the channel wall, where the aqueous phase was saturated with oxygen transferred from bubble body. This film flow results in the highest equivalent oxygen concentration within the slug led by a bubble and followed by a droplet. The three-phase slug flow subregime with alternate bubble and droplet was found to benefit the overall mass transfer performance most. These results provide insights into a precise manipulation of gas-liquid-liquid slug flow in microreactors and the relevant mass transfer behavior thereof.