Simulation of a high recirculation airlift reactor for steady-state operation

Adam Hudson, David Sanders, Giles Tewkesbury, Howard Cawte, John Hinks

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper describes a new mathematical model of the fluid dynamic processes in a high recirculation airlift reactor. The model was created to provide information to assist in the design of a reactor, in particular considering the selection of parameters to adjust in order to achieve a steady state solution. The modelling of two phase-flow of air and water in small scale airlift bio-reactors is considered. This modelling was applied to the high recirculation airlift reactor process. A new computer simulation was created and a test program performed to evaluate the models used. The results of this evaluation are presented. The evaluation showed that variation of the superficial gas velocity or the simultaneous variation of the downcomer and riser diameters could be used to produce a steady-state design solution.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)59–66
    JournalWater Science and Technology
    Issue number5-6
    Publication statusPublished - 1996


    • Airlift; biological reactor; computer simulation; fluid dynamics; two-phase flow; wastewater


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