2012 Volume 7 Issue 1 Pages 78-88
Effects of the total gas flow rate on the water level in a diffuser pipe for a membrane bioreactor, the gas flow rate from each aeration hole and the bubble diameter are investigated. The diffuser has evenly positioned five aeration holes on the top and a larger hole on the bottom for introducing the liquid into the pipe. The gas flow rate from each aeration hole is measured by capturing generated bubbles. The water level and gas velocity inside the diffuser are computed by processing video images. The bubble diameter is calculated using the gas flow rate and the bubble generation frequency measured from the video images. The conclusions obtained are as follows: (1) the gas flow rate from the aeration hole depends on the water level inside the diffuser and becomes constant for all the holes as the total gas flow rate increases since the high total gas flow rate make the water level uniform, which results in a constant gas pressure in the diffuser, (2) the onset of slugging in the diffuser is well correlated in terms of the local gas velocity and the Mishima-Ishii's slugging model, (3) the increase in the total gas flow rate decreases the water level, causing suppression of the onset of slugging, (4) the diameter of aeration hole strongly affects the gas flow rate from each aeration hole and water level, and (5) the Davidson-Schuler correlation gives reasonable estimations of the bubble diameter, provided that the influence of slugging is not significant.