A Study of boiling parameters under conditions of laminar non-Newtonian flow with particular reference to massecuite boiling.
Rouillard, Ernest Edouard Andre.
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Crystallization is done in the sugar industry using natural circulation vacuum evaporative crystallizers known as vacuum pans. the fluid which is known as massecuite consists of a suspension of crystals in concentrated molasses. It is highly viscous and slightly non-Newtonian, and laminar conditions prevail in the apparatus. Research on forced convection boiling heat transfer, pressure drop and vapour holdup has been done mostly in turbulent flow under pressures higher than atmospheric, but no studies have been made when boiling viscous fluids under vacuum. This thesis describes a series of experiments which were undertaken with the following objectives: (a) to determine the influence of the pertinent variables on heat transfer, friction losses and vapour holdup while boiling under laminar conditions (b) to produce a method for the calculation of the evaporation and circulation rates in vacuum pans, as this would make possible the optimization of this type of equipment. The apparatus used consisted of a single tube steam heated forced circulation evaporator. The void fraction, pressure and centerline temperature were measured along the tube. The fluids used were syrup, molasses and massecuite covering a thousandfold change in viscosity. The tests were conducted under different conditions of vacuum and steam pressures with varying tube inlet velocities. The experimental results show that the boiling heat transfer coefficient can be correlated as a function of the two phase Reynolds number and dimensionless density ratio and that it is inversely proportional to the tube length to the power of one third. The pressure drop can be estimated using the equation of Oliver and Wright (1964) for bubbly flow. Equations are proposed for calculating the void fraction in the highly subcooled region and point of bubble departure. These equations form the basis of a computer program which by a stepwise and iterative method simulates the boiling process along the tube. Measurements taken on a natural circulation pan with tubes of different length show that this method predicts the effect of the tube length with reasonable accuracy. The limitations of this study are that the experiments were done with a single diameter tube so that the effect of diameter has not been established with certainty. Only sugar products were used in the experiments, and caution is necessary if this method is applied to other fluids.