Design and operation of gas-liquid slug flow in miniaturized channels for rapid mass transfer

Nobuaki Aoki, Shin Tanigawa, Kazuhiro Mae

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    The influences of operating parameters such as channel size, flow rate, and void fraction on the mass transfer rate in the gas-liquid slug flow are investigated to establish a design method to determine the parameters for rapid mass transfer. From the experimental results, the turnover index, including the slug linear velocity, its length, and the channel size that represents the turnover frequency of the internal circulation flow, is proposed. For PTFE tube in which no liquid film exists in slug flow, a master curve is derived from the relationship between the mass transfer coefficient and the turnover index. For each channel material, the Sherwood number is also roughly correlated with the Peclet number. These correlations make it possible to arbitrarily determine a set of operating parameters to achieve the desired mass transfer rate. However, the turnover index and the Peclet number include the slug length, which cannot be controlled directly. The relationship between the slug length and the operating parameters is also investigated. The slug volume mainly depends on the inner diameter (i.d.) of a union tee. At a fixed union tee i.d., the slug length is controlled through the exit i.d. of the channel connected to the union tee and the void fraction. Thus, the final slug length depends on the union tee and exit channel inner diameters. At low flow rates, the gas and liquid collision angle is significant in determining the slug length.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6536-6543
    Number of pages8
    JournalChemical Engineering Science
    Issue number24
    Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec 15


    • Absorption
    • Design
    • Mass transfer
    • Microchannel
    • Multiphase reactors
    • Slug flow

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Chemistry(all)
    • Chemical Engineering(all)
    • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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