Development of A Scale-Up Procedure for the Gas-Lift Flotation Column

EPA Grant Number: GF9500681
Title: Development of A Scale-Up Procedure for the Gas-Lift Flotation Column
Investigators: Guelcher, Scott
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
EPA Project Officer: Michaud, Jayne
Project Period: September 1, 1995 through January 1, 2000
Project Amount: $34,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1995) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry , Fellowship - Engineering


The gas-lift flotation column (GLFC) is an innovative flotation device that has a promising application to the recovery of dispersed oil from wastewater. The objective of this proposed research is to develop a scale-up procedure for the GLFC. The project will be performed in two phases. The objective of phase one is a hydrodynamic study to determine the effects of column geometry and operating conditions on hydrodynamic parameters. The model system will be CO2 and water. The objective of phase two is a kinetic study to relate flotation kinetics to column hydrodynamics. The particulate phase to be recovered will be oil droplets suspended in water. The hydrodynamic parameters will be identified and related to geometry and operating variables. The independent variables to be studied include the draft tube diameter ratio, the superficial gas velocity, and the frother concentration. For each set of experimental conditions, gas holdup in the riser will be measured by a conductivity tracer technique. In phase two of the project, flotation recovery will be calculated from oil concentration data obtained by gas chromatography. The first-order rate constant will be calculated from recovery data. The proposed scale-up parameters will be calculated and their effect on the rate constant will be evaluated. The correct scale-up parameters will then be identified and correlated with the rate constant data. The effects of initial oil concentration will also be included in the correlation for the rate constant. The proposed scale-up procedure should include design equations relating hydrodynamic parameters to column geometry and operating conditions, and relating flotation rate constant to scale-up parameters. From this system of equations it should be possible to predict commercial-scale column performance for a given column geometry and set of operating conditions.

Supplemental Keywords:

Scientific Discipline, Water, Wastewater, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry, Chemistry and Materials Science, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Environmental Engineering, wastewater treatment, kinectic study, oil recovery, oil, scale-up procedure for GLFC, gas-lift flotation column (GLFC), recovery of dispersed oil

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1996
  • 1997
  • 1998
  • 1999
  • Final