Coalescence of secondary dispersions

  • David G. Austin

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


A study has been made of the coalescence of secondary dispersions in beds of woven meshes. The variables investigated were superficial velocity, bed depth, mesh geometry and fibre material; the effects of presoaking the bed in the dispersed phase before operation were also considered. Equipment was design~d to generate a 0.1% phase ratio toluene in water dispersion whose mean drop size was determined using a Coulter Counter. The coalesced drops were sized by photography and a novel holographic technique was developed to evaluate the mean diameter of the effluent secondary drops. Previous models describing single phase flow in porous media are reviewed and it was found that the experimental data obtained in this study is best represented by Keller's equation which is based on a physical model similar to the internal structure of the meshes. Statistical analysis of two phase data produced a correlation, for each mesh tested, relating the pressure drop to superficial velocity and bed depth. The flow parameter evaluated from the single phase model is incorporated into a theoretical comparison of drop capture mechanisms which indicated that direct and indirect interception are predominant. The resulting equation for drop capture efficiericy is used to predict the initial, local drop capture rate in a coalescer. A mathematical description of the saturation profiles was formulated and verified by average saturation data. Based 6n the Blake-Kozeny equation, an expression is derived
analytically to predict the two phase pressure drop using the parameters which characterise the saturation profiles. By specifying the local saturation at the inlet face for a given velocity, good agreement between experimental pressure drop data and the model predictions was obtained.
Date of Award1979
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorG.V. Jeffreys (Supervisor)


  • Coalescence
  • secondary dispersions
  • Holography
  • Porous Media
  • Pressure Drop

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