Coalescence of secondary dispersions in packed beds

  • Silvya Baez Poleo

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


A study has been made of the coalescence of secondary dispersions in beds of monosized glass ballotini. The variables investigated were superficial velocity, bed depth, ballotini size and dispersed phase concentration.
Equipment was designed to generate a toluene ln water dispersion with phase ratios from 0.1 - 1.0 v/v % and whose mean drop size was determined using a Coulter Counter. The coalesced drops were sized by photography and the mean
diameter of the effluent drops was determined using a Malvern Particle Size Analyser.
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 the Carman-Kozeny equations.
Relative permeability correlations were used to predict the saturation profiles across the bed from measured two phase pressure drop data.
Theoretical comparison of drop capture mechanisms indicated that direct and indirect interception are predominant. The total capture efficiency for the bed can also be evaluated using Spielman and Fitzpatrick's correlation.The resulting equation is used to predict the initial, local drop capture rate in a coalescer.
A mathematical description of the saturation profiles is formulated and verified by the saturation profiles obtained by relative permeability. Based on the Carman-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 and
phase ratio, good agreement between experimental pressure drop data and the model predictions was obtained. An attempt to predict the exit drop size has been made using an analogy for flow through non cylindrical channels.
Date of AwardSept 1983
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorG.V. Jeffreys (Supervisor)


  • coalescence
  • secondary dispersions
  • packed beds
  • porous media
  • pressure drop
  • relative permeability

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