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Model-based control of the hydrodynamics of bubble columns

Project members:  S. Djordjevic, prof. R. F. Mudde, D. Jeltsema, J.M.A. Scherpen
Keywords:  Control of bubble columns, Hydrodynamics, Model-based control, Old - project will be removed
Sponsored by:  Delft Centre on Sustainable Industrial Processes
The goal of this project is to develop a methodology for controlling bubble columns in such a way that a desired flow regime is imposed on the system. The hydrodynamic systems are governed by nonlinear partial differential equations (PDE’s). The nonlinearities in fluid equations influence flow patterns in space and cause different flow regimes: homogeneous, transition and heterogeneous flow. To reach the goal, we need to be able to detect deviations from the desired set point in an early stage and take a control action to steer the column back to the set point. The intention is to take a model-based approach to address this problem. By imposing dynamic structures on bubble columns, the back-mixing can be tuned and a more homogeneous spread of bubbles can be obtained. For many industrial applications, both the liquids and gas volume fraction in the bubble columns are high. This means that a sufficient amount of stirring is needed to distribute the bubbles. The controller/actuators are placed at the boundary of the spatial domain (injection of the gas phase from the bottom of the column) as illustrated in the figure.

The project is in cooperation with Kramers Laboratory for Physical Technology, Department of Multiscale Physics, TNW, TUD.

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