Faculty Advisor

Gretar Tryggvason

Faculty Advisor

David J. Olinger

Faculty Advisor

Nikolaos A. Gatsonis

Faculty Advisor

Anthony G. Dixon

Faculty Advisor

Michael A. Demetriou


Results from direct numerical simulations (DNS) of multiphase bubbly flows in vertical and horizontal channels were compared to averaged models of multiphase flows (two-fluid model etc.). The data from the direct numerical simulation were also used to calibrate and improve the averaged models. Steady state laminar flow in a vertical channel was analyzed first. Results from direct numerical simulations are compared with prediction of the steady-state two-fluid model of Antal, Lahey, and Flaherty (1991). The simulations are done assuming a two-dimensional system and the model coefficients are adjusted slightly to match the data for upflow. The model is then tested by comparisons with different values of flow rate and gravity, as well as down flow. Results agree reasonably in the middle of the channel. However, for upflow, model performs poorly near the no-slip wall. To better understand the flow with rising bubbles hugging the no-slip wall, detailed direct numerical simulations of the problem were performed in three dimensions. Deformability of the bubbles was found to play a significant role in the flow structure and averaged flow rate. Finally, the transient buoyancy driven motion of two-dimensional bubbles across a domain bounded by two horizontal walls is studied by. The bubbles are initially released next to the lower wall and as they rise, they disperse. Eventually all the bubbles collect at the top wall. The goal of the study is to examine how a simple one-dimensional model for the averaged void fraction captures the unsteady bubble motion. By using void fraction dependent velocities, where the exact dependency is obtained from simulations of homogeneous bubbly flows, the overall dispersion of the bubbles is predicted. Significant differences remain, however. Results suggest that bubble dispersion by the bubble induced liquid velocity must be included, and by using a simple model for the bubble dispersion improved agreement is found.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Mechanical Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





Multiphase Flow, Two fluid modeling, Direct Numerical Simulation, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Multiphase flow, Bubbles