Scientific article

Predicting oxygen transfer and water flow rate in airlift aerators

Published inWater research, vol. 36, no. 18, p. 4605-4615
Publication date2002

Water flow rate, gas-phase holdup, and dissolved oxygen (DO) profiles are measured in a full-scale airlift aerator as a function of applied air flow rate. A model that predicts oxygen transfer based on discrete-bubble principles is applied. The riser DO profiles are used to calculate the initial bubble size. The range of calculated bubble diameters obtained using the model is 2.3–3.1 mm. The Sauter-mean diameter of bubbles measured in the laboratory ranged from 2.7 to 3.9 mm. The riser and downcomer DO profiles and gas holdups predicted by the model are in close agreement with the experimental results. A model that predicts water flow rate based on an energy balance is used to calculate Kt, the frictional loss coefficient for the air–water separator. Excluding the data at the very lowest air flow rate, the range of calculated values for Kt (3–8) is close to a literature value of 5.5 proposed for hydrodynamically similar external airlift bioreactors. The models should prove useful in the design and optimization of airlift aerators.

  • Bubble
  • Energy
  • Gas
  • Holdup
  • Hypolimnetic
  • Mass transfer
  • Model
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
BURRIS, Vickie L, MCGINNIS, Daniel Frank, LITTLE, John C. Predicting oxygen transfer and water flow rate in airlift aerators. In: Water research, 2002, vol. 36, n° 18, p. 4605–4615. doi: 10.1016/S0043-1354(02)00176-8
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0043-1354

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