Numerical study of wall effects on buoyant gas-bubble rise in a liquid-filled finite cylinder

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The wall effects on the axisymmetric rise and deformation of an initially spherical gas bubble released from rest in a liquid-filled, finite circular cylinder are numerically investigated. The bulk and gas phases are considered incompressible and immiscible. The bubble motion and deformation are characterized by the Morton number Mo, Eötvös number Eo, Reynolds number Re, Weber number We, density ratio, viscosity ratio, the ratios of the cylinder height and the cylinder radius to the diameter of the initially spherical bubble (H* =H/d0, R*=R/d0). Bubble rise in liquids described by Eo and Mo combinations ranging from (1,0.01) to (277.5,0.092), as appropriate to various terminal state Reynolds numbers (ReT) and shapes have been studied. The range of terminal state Reynolds numbers includes 0.02T<70. Bubble shapes at terminal states vary from spherical to intermediate spherical-cap–skirted. The numerical procedure employs a front tracking finite difference method coupled with a level contour reconstruction of the front. This procedure ensures a smooth distribution of the front points and conserves the bubble volume. For the wide range of Eo and Mo examined, bubble motion in cylinders of height H*=8 and R≥3, is noted to correspond to the rise in an infinite medium, both in terms of Reynolds number and shape at terminal state. In a thin cylindrical vessel (small R*) the motion of the bubble is retarded due to increased total drag and the bubble achieves terminal conditions within a short distance from release. The wake effects on bubble rise are reduced, and elongated bubbles may occur at appropriate conditions. For a fixed volume of the bubble, increasing the cylinder radius may result in the formation of well-defined rear recirculatory wakes that are associated with lateral bulging and skirt formation. The paper includes figures of bubble shape regimes for various values of R*, Eo, Mo, and ReT. Our predictions agree with existing results reported in the literature.

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Copyright American Physical Society. Reprinted from Physical Review E, Volume 76, Article 036308, September 2007, 15 pages. Publisher URL:
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