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Direct Numerical Simulations of Liquids on Microstructured Surfaces: Analysing the Fluid Dynamics on Packing

Bonart, Henning; Repke, Jens-Uwe

Structured high performance packing for packing columns have macrostructures, e.g., corrugated or folded sheets, and in many cases microstructures or surface topographies with geometrical dimensions in the same order of magnitude as the film thicknesses. For an optimal design of microstructured surfaces and for the development of novel methodologies to predict the mass transfer, a reliable description of the influence of these microstructures is crucial. To research the influence of these microstructures on the liquid film in detail, and later on optimize the geometry, Direct Numerical Simulations applying the Cahn-Hilliard-Navier-Stokes (CHNS) equations were performed for this study. The model and the implementation were validated against analytical solutions for undisturbed laminar film flows. The influence of two single microstructures (triangle and rectangle) on the gas-liquid interface and the velocity in the liquid were systematically investigated. Thereby, it was observed, that small microstructures in comparison to the film thickness have no influence on the gasliquid interface. In contrast, higher structures could increase the interfacial area. The results indicate, that systematic studies on a wide range of geometries, phase properties and gas velocities can give valuable information on the path to optimal microstructures.
Published in: Chemical engineering transactions, 10.3303/CET1869011, Italian Association of Chemical Engineering