The flow structure around rising single air bubbles in water and their characteristics, such as equivalent diameter, rising velocity and shape, was investigated using Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and Shadowgraphy in a transparent apparatus with a volume of 120 mL. The effect of different volumetric gas flow rates, ranging from 4 μL/min to 2 mL/min on the liquid velocity was studied. Ellipsoidal bubbleswere observedwith a rising velocity of 0.25–0.29m/s. It was found that a Kármán vortex street existed behind the rising bubbles. Furthermore, the wake region expanded with increasing volumetric gas flow rate as well as the number and size of the vortices.
Two phase flow experiments with different superficial velocities of gas and water were performed in a vertical upward isothermal cocurrent air-water flow column with conditions ranging from bubbly flow, with very low void fraction, to transition flow with some cap and slug bubbles and void fractions around 25%. The superficial velocities of the liquid and the gas phases were varied from 0.5 to 3 m/s and from 0 to 0.6 m/s, respectively. Also to check the effect of changing the surface tension on the previous experiments small amounts of 1-butanol were added to the water. These amounts range from 9 to 75 ppm and change the surface tension. This study is interesting because in real cases the surface tension of the water diminishes with temperature, and with this kind of experiments we can study indirectly the effect of changing the temperature on the void fraction distribution. The following axial and radial distributions were measured in all these experiments: void fraction, interfacial area concentration, interfacial velocity, Sauter mean diameter and turbulence intensity. The range of values of the gas superficial velocities in these experiments covered the range from bubbly flow to the transition to cap/slug flow. Also with transition flow conditions we distinguish two groups of bubbles in the experiments, the small spherical bubbles and the cap/slug bubbles. Special interest was devoted to the transition region from bubbly to cap/slug flow; the goal was to understand the physical phenomena that take place during this transition A set of numerical simulations of some of these experiments for bubbly flow conditions has been performed by coupling a Lagrangian code, that tracks the three dimensional motion of the individual bubbles in cylindrical coordinates inside the field of the carrier liquid, to an Eulerian model that computes the magnitudes of continuous phase and to a 3D random walk model that takes on account the fluctuation in the velocity field of the carrier fluid that are seen by the bubbles due to turbulence fluctuations. Also we have included in the model the deformation that suffers the bubble when it touches the wall and it is compressed by the forces that pushes it toward the wall, provoking that the bubble rebound like a ball.