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Abstract

The aim of the study was the implementation of a numerical simulation of the air-water two-phase flow in the minichannel and comparing results obtained with the values obtained experimentally. To perform the numerical simulations commercial software ANSYS FLUENT 12 was used. The first step of the study was to reproduce the actual research installation as a three-dimensional model with appropriate and possible simplifications - future computational domain. The next step was discretisation of the computational domain and determination of the types of boundary conditions. ANSYS FLUENT 12 has three built-in basic models with which a two-phase flow can be described. However, in this work Volume-of-Fluid (VOF) model was selected as it meets the established requirements of research. Preliminary calculations were performed for a simplified geometry. The calculations were later verified whether or not the simplifications of geometry were chosen correctly and if they affected the calculation. The next stage was validation of the chosen model. After positive verification, a series of calculations was performed, in which the boundary conditions were the same as the starting conditions in laboratory experiments. A satisfactory description of the experimental data accuracy was attained.
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Abstract

A new concept of an electrostatic spray column for liquid-liquid extraction was investigated. An important problem for separation processes is the presence of azeotropic or close-boiling mixtures in their production, for example heptane with ethanol, since the separation is impossible by ordinary distillation. The use of ionic liquids (IL) as a dispersed solvent specially engineered for any specific organic mixture in terms of selectivity is a key factor to successful separation. As IL present particularly attractive combination of favorable characteristics for the separation of heptane and ethanol, in this work we use 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium methyl sulfate [BMIM][MeSO4]. Because of high viscosity and relatively high cost of IL a new technique was introduced, consisting in the electrostatically spray generation to enhance the mass transport between the phases. In order to optimally design the geometry of the contactor a series of numerical simulation was performed. Especially multi-nozzle variants for better exploitation of contactor volume were investigated. Experiments showed excellent possibility of control of the dispersion characteristics by applied voltage and thus control of the rate of extraction. The preliminary simulations based on our mathematical model for a three nozzle variant exhibited visual agreement with the theory of electrostatics.
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