Simulation of bubble breakup dynamics in homogeneous turbulance

D. Qian, J. B. McLaughlin, K. Sankaranarayanan, Sankaran Sundaresan, K. Kontomaris

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58 Scopus citations


This article presents numerical simulation results for the deformation and breakup of bubbles in homogeneous turbulence under zero gravity conditions. The lattice Boltzmann method was used in the simulations. Homogeneous turbulence was generated by a random stirring force that acted on the fluid in a three-dimensional periodic box. The grid size was sufficiently small that the smallest scales of motion could be simulated for the underlying bubble-free flow. The minimum Weber number for bubble breakup was found to be about 3. Bubble breakup was stochastic, and the average time needed for breakup was much larger for small Weber numbers than for larger Weber numbers. For small Weber numbers, breakup was preceded by a long period of oscillatory behavior during which the largest linear dimension of the bubble gradually increased. For all Weber numbers, breakup was preceded by a sudden increase in the largest linear dimension of the bubble. When the Weber number exceeded the minimum value, the average surface area increased by as much as 80%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1038-1063
Number of pages26
JournalChemical Engineering Communications
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


  • Bubble breakup
  • Multiphase flow
  • Numerical simulation
  • Turbulence


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