Research Topic

Industrial multiphase flows

Bubbly flows across the scales
Bubble columns, and in general bubbly flows, are widely used in industrial applicationswhere contact between a gaseous and a liquid phase is required. We useComputational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to study in detail the complex interactionsbetween hydrodynamics and mass & heat transport, helping the design andoptimization of industrial processes. We employ an in-house developed Euler-Lagrangemodel called Discrete Bubble Model (DBM), which tracks each bubbleindividually, taking into account mass/heat transfer, collisions, coalescenceand breakup. We can study bubble nucleation processes, non-Newtonian liquidsand  scale up our computations to a TwoFluid Model (TFM), based on OpenFOAM. In particular, we are interested infermentation and electrolysis processes.

Clustering and agglomeration in fluidized bed reactors
Theprocessing of granular solids in fluidized beds is an important step in manyprocesses in the food, pharma minerals and chemical industry, for instance ingranulation, drying, polyolefin production, etc. Often, liquids are present aswell, which causes agglomeration of the particles inside the equipment. Thismay cause fouling, lead to poor heat transfer and otherwise deteriorate processperformance. Using detailed computations and dedicated experiments, we show therole of the agglomerate formation and how to prevent fouling. We take intoaccount cohesive forces due to Van Der Waals force, liquid bridges, but alsoaccount for other inter-particle forces such as electrostatic interactions. Wedevelop novel strategies to take into account all relevant interactions for theprocess under consideration.