Full Content is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >

Review of Flow Patterns in a Column Reactor for Photobioreactor Application

[+] Author Affiliations
Gary A. Anderson, Anil Kommareddy, Taylor Suess, Stephen P. Gent

South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD

Paper No. ES2014-6459, pp. V002T04A009; 9 pages
  • ASME 2014 8th International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the ASME 2014 12th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Volume 2: Economic, Environmental, and Policy Aspects of Alternate Energy; Fuels and Infrastructure, Biofuels and Energy Storage; High Performance Buildings; Solar Buildings, Including Solar Climate Control/Heating/Cooling; Sustainable Cities and Communities, Including Transportation; Thermofluid Analysis of Energy Systems, Including Exergy and Thermoeconomics
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, June 30–July 2, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4587-5
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Photobioreactors (PBRs) and chemical reactors are often vertical columns with either circular or rectangular cross sections. The reactors are frequently referred to as column reactors and are treated as if they perform in the same manner. The reactors can have two different types of flow established in them regardless of cross sectional shape depending on the saprger/diffuser type and location within the reactor. The flow patterns in the reactors are induced by gas that is bubbled into the reactor volume usually near the bottom of the reactor. When the gas bubbles rise up through the reactor in a plug flow fashion, most of the mixing is in the radial direction which tends to make the reactor liquid and gas more homogeneous across the width of the reactor. The gas bubbles in the reactor may not move up through the reactor in a plug flow fashion, but may instead move vertically up through a portion of the reactor cross-section. This will establish a column of bubbles and liquid rising from the bottom of the reactor up to the surface and, in turn, induce a column(s) of liquid moving downward from the top of the reactor to the bottom. This behavior is similar to an air lift reactor which generally has walls physically dividing the upward (riser) and downward (down comer) flows. Without physical separation of the flows, the percent of cross sectional area of the reactor acting as the riser and down comer is established by the gas flow rate through the reactor, reactor cross sectional area, and the reactor volume. Velocity of flow(s) in the reactors is often based on the superficial gas velocity, which is the incoming gas flow rate divided by the gross cross sectional area of the reactor volume. This parameter may not relate to the two flows in the same manner. The two different flow patterns will be discussed in relation to superficial gas velocity, light in a PBR, chemical reactions in the reactor, and riser and down comer size.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Topics: Flow (Dynamics)



Interactive Graphics


Country-Specific Mortality and Growth Failure in Infancy and Yound Children and Association With Material Stature

Use interactive graphics and maps to view and sort country-specific infant and early dhildhood mortality and growth failure data and their association with maternal

Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In