Chemical Engineering Science, Vol.56, No.17, 5201-5206, 2001
Mass transfer coefficients of decane to emulsions in a bubble column reactor
The absorption of n-decane in water-silicone oil emulsions was studied in a laboratory-scale bubble column at different gas flow rates for the whole range of emulsion compositions. The volumetric mass transfer coefficients to the emulsions were estimated assuming that the gas phase contacts preferentially the non-aqueous phase. This assumption was supported by the experimental results. The Flory-Higgins equation was used for calculating the vapor pressure of n-decane dissolved in silicone oil. It was established that the volumetric mass transfer coefficient based on the emulsion volume is independent of the emulsion composition. These results indicate that a small fraction of silicone oil may be enough to provide a strong enhancement of volatile organic compounds and oxygen absorption, improving the economic aspects of the use of emulsions for biodegradation of volatile organic compounds.