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A Multi-Phase Flow Model Incorporated with Population Balance Equation in a Meshfree Framework
(2011)

This study deals with the numerical solution of a meshfree coupled model of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Population Balance Equation (PBE) for liquid-liquid extraction columns. In modeling the coupled hydrodynamics and mass transfer in liquid extraction columns one encounters multidimensional population balance equation that could not be fully resolved numerically within a reasonable time necessary for steady state or dynamic simulations. For this reason, there is an obvious need for a new liquid extraction model that captures all the essential physical phenomena and still tractable from computational point of view. This thesis discusses a new model which focuses on discretization of the external (spatial) and internal coordinates such that the computational time is drastically reduced. For the internal coordinates, the concept of the multi-primary particle method; as a special case of the Sectional Quadrature Method of Moments (SQMOM) is used to represent the droplet internal properties. This model is capable of conserving the most important integral properties of the distribution; namely: the total number, solute and volume concentrations and reduces the computational time when compared to the classical finite difference methods, which require many grid points to conserve the desired physical quantities. On the other hand, due to the discrete nature of the dispersed phase, a meshfree Lagrangian particle method is used to discretize the spatial domain (extraction column height) using the Finite Pointset Method (FPM). This method avoids the extremely difficult convective term discretization using the classical finite volume methods, which require a lot of grid points to capture the moving fronts propagating along column height.