Chemical Engineering Science, Vol.61, No.11, 3610-3622, 2006
Effect of antifoam agents on bubble characteristics in bubble columns based on acoustic sound measurements
In this paper, the effect of antifoam agents on bubble characteristics in bubble columns is studied. Specifically, the bubble characteristics of air in tap water are compared to those of air in 5% and 10% antifoam solutions. Bubble characteristics such as gas holdup, bubble diameter, bubble-size distribution, and damping ratio were investigated at various superficial gas velocities. These properties were deduced from the acoustic sound measurement. The study revealed that the addition of antifoam chemicals reduces the overall gas holdup and increases the average bubble diameter. The bubble-size distribution in tap water is found to be homogeneous while in antifoam solutions to be heterogeneous. It is also found that at low gas velocities the damping ratio for antifoam solutions is higher than that for tap water, while at high gas velocities the damping ratio is not affected. The results affirm that acoustic probes are excellent measuring tools over classical tools at moderate gas velocities. (c) 2006 Published by Elsevier Ltd.