Flow patterns and oil-water dispersion in a 0.38 m diameter oscillatory baffled column

Xiongwei Ni, Greig Nelson, Imtiaz Mustafa

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5 Citations (Scopus)


We report our experimental flow visualization observations of flow patterns and experimental oil-water dispersion measurements in an oscillatory baffled column (OBC) of an internal diameter 380 mm. Both types of experiments were carried out covering an identical range of oscillation frequencies, amplitudes, orifice diameters and baffle spacings. The flow visualization observations show that eddy mixing has been achieved in the pilot OBC and the intensity of which is largely dependent on the operational and geometrical parameters tested, which is similar to that in a smaller scale OBC. The scale-up correlation was found to be linear. The oil-water dispersion measurements show that the degree of the dispersion depends significantly on the oscillation frequency and amplitude with an increase in either leading to an increase in dispersion. The effect of the orifice diameter on the oil-water dispersion is also evident, but the effect of the baffle spacing is much weaker. Based on the experimental data we have established a correlation relating the degree of oil-water dispersion to the power input to the system. We have also compared the power requirement to achieve a complete dispersion in the pilot OBC with that in a bench scale OBC of 50 mm diameter and found that the energy dissipation is more economical in the large scale application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-220
Number of pages10
JournalCanadian Journal of Chemical Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2000


  • Flow patterns
  • Oil-water dispersion
  • Oscillatory baffled column
  • Power dissipation


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