The modelling of buoyancy driven flow in bubble columns

G.M. Cartland Glover, S.C. Generalis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using the analogy between lateral convection of heat and the two-phase flow in bubble columns, alternative turbulence modelling methods were analysed. The k-ε turbulence and Reynolds stress models were used to predict the buoyant motion of fluids where a density difference arises due to the introduction of heat or a discrete phase. A large height to width aspect ratio cavity was employed in the transport of heat and it was shown that the Reynolds stress model with the use of velocity profiles including the laminar flow solution resulted in turbulent vortices developing. The turbulence models were then applied to the simulation of gas-liquid flow for a 5:1 height to width aspect ratio bubble column. In the case of a gas superficial velocity of 0.02 m s-1 it was determined that employing the Reynolds stress model yielded the most realistic simulation results. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-115
Number of pages15
JournalChemical Engineering and Processing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Chemical Engineering and Processing. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Generalis, Sotos C. and Cartland Glover, Gregory (2004). The modelling of buoyancy driven flow in bubble columns. Chemical Engineering and Processing, 43 (2), pp. 101-115. DOI 10.1016/S0255-2701(03)00008-4


  • bubble columns
  • computational fluid dynamics
  • k-ε Turbulence
  • mixture models
  • thermal convection
  • turbulent Reynolds stresses
  • two-phase flow


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