Title: Modelling of bubble behaviour in aluminium reduction cells

Authors: Kristian Etienne Einarsrud; Stein Tore Johansen

Addresses: Department of Energy and Process Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim N-7401, Norway ' SINTEF Materials and Chemistry, Trondheim N-7465, Norway

Abstract: A phenomenological model for the creation and transport of anodic gas bubbles in aluminium reduction cells is presented. The proposed model is a multiscale approach in which molecular species are produced and transported through a supersaturated electrolyte. Sub-grid bubbles are allowed to form through nucleation and the resulting bubble population evolves through mass transfer and coalescence. As sub-grid bubbles reach a certain size, they are transferred to a macroscopic phase, which evolution is governed by a volume of fluid method. The current work describes the underlying theory and motivation for the proposed model and it is used to describe a laboratory-scale electrolysis cell, showing the potential of the suggested approach. The influence of selected properties of the model is identified by means of a factorial analysis.

Keywords: computational fluid dynamics; CFD; multiscale modelling; bubble behaviour; aluminium reduction cells; super-saturated electrolyte; population balance; volume of fluid method; phenomenological modelling; anodic gas bubbles.

DOI: 10.1504/PCFD.2012.047455

Progress in Computational Fluid Dynamics, An International Journal, 2012 Vol.12 No.2/3, pp.119 - 130

Published online: 21 Jun 2012 *

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