Sparged loop reactors

J. B. Joshi*, V. V. Ranade, S. D. Gharat, S. S. Lele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

140 Citations (Scopus)


Circulating bubble columns or loop reactors form one of the important classes of modified bubble columns. The present paper analyses the performance of external loop air lift reactors (EL-ALR). The EL-ALR has many advantageous features especially at large scale. These arise from its feature of having controlled liquid circulation which is the key parameter for the design and operation of EL-ALR contactors. Therefore, a reliable and generalised circulation model has been presented. The reliability of the model depends on the accuracy of the predictive methods for the gas hold-up and the two-phase fractional pressure drop. Detailed analysis of these fundamental parameters of gas-liquid flows has been presented. The effects of design (area ratio of riser to downcomer, height to diameter ratio and volume of reactor) and operating (gas flow rates and sparging locations) parameters on the performance of the EL-ALR have been analysed in detail. A rational basis has been developed for the estimation of pressure drop, mixing time and mass transfer coefficient. An optimum combination of design and operating parameters has been suggested and a criterion has been developed for the optimum location of spargers. An attempt has been made to provide critical analysis of the published information and to construct a coherent picture of EL-ALR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-741
Number of pages37
JournalCanadian Journal of Chemical Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics

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