Mass-transfer correlations for the dual bed colloidal suspension reactor
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To meet the growing energy world demands, and in conjunction, lower CO2 production levels, near zero emission energy sources must be pushed to the forefront as alternatives to fossil fuels. Photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells are a potential alternative to fossil fuels and have recently generated much interest because of their potential to electrolyze water into hydrogen fuel from sunlight. But in order to be competitive with fossil fuels, understanding the mass-transfer limitations in PEC systems is critical. This work focuses on the addressing the mass-transfer limitations in a conceptually novel PEC cell reactor, the Dual Bed Colloidal Suspension Reactor (DBCSR). Mass-transfer correlations for the DBCSR are presented. The correlations are based on experimental data obtained using two fabricated diffusion cells. The working correlation representative of both cells is given. An analysis of the orientation of the gas sparger suggests that the transport phenomena in both cells is not the same, and therefore using two correlations to represent similar systems is justified. An energy analysis is presented that shows that gas sparging is a low energy consumption option to mitigate mass-transfer limitations. Future work is suggested for better understanding the mass-transfer behavior in the DBCSR.