Chemical Engineering Science, Vol.61, No.12, 4111-4119, 2006
Influence of dissolved hydrocarbons on volumetric oxygen mass transfer coefficient in a novel airlift contactor
Hydrocarbon compounds are sparsely soluble in aqueous systems but, nonetheless, their presence can influence significantly mass transfer behavior in gas-liquid systems. water-p-xylene and water-p-xylene-naphthalene mixtures were employed in order to determine the influence of dissolved hydrocarbons on mass transfer of oxygen from air bubbles to water. The surface renewal-stretch model has been modified for predicting the volumetric mass transfer coefficient, (K(L)a)h, in the presence of surface contaminant molecules, including hydrocarbon compounds and surfactants. Theory and experimental oxygen transfer results were found to be in satisfactory' agreement with average absolute deviation of 15%. Pendant drop and contact angle measurements by axisymmetric drop shape analysis were carried out to determine the reduction in surface tension of water due to the addition of p-xylene and naphthalene. Molecular orientation caused by instantaneous attraction of the polar moieties of the organic compounds toward the water interface has been found to be the main cause of reduction in surface tension. It was predicated that changes in gas-liquid mass transfer behavior resulted from surface contamination and that the significant parameter was the reduction in surface tension. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.