Comparison of axisymmetric and three-dimensional models for gas uptake in a single bifurcation during steady expiration

Srinath Madasu, James S. Ultman, Ali Borhan

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3 Scopus citations


Reactive gas uptake is predicted and compared in a single bifurcation at steady expiratory flow in terms of Sherwood number using an axisymmetric single-path model (ASPM) and a three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics model (CFDM). ASPM is validated in a two-generation geometry by comparing the average gas-phase mass transfer coefficients with the experimental values. ASPM predicted mass transfer coefficients within 20% of the experimental values. The flow and concentration variables in the ASPM were solved using Galerkin finite element method and in the CFDM using commercial finite element software FIDAP. The simulations were performed for reactive gas flowing at Reynolds numbers ranging from 60 to 350 in both symmetric bifurcation for three bifurcation angles, 30 deg, 70 deg, and 90 deg, and in an asymmetric bifurcation. The numerical models compared with each other qualitatively but quantitatively they were within 0.4-8% due to nonfully developed flow in the parent branch predicted by the CFDM. The radially averaged concentration variation along the axial location matched qualitatively between the CFDM and ASPM but quantitatively they were within 32% due to differences in the flow field. ASPM predictions compared well with the CFDM predictions for an asymmetric bifurcation. These results validate the simplified ASPM and the complex CFDM. ASPM predicts higher Sherwood number with aflat velocity inlet profile compared to a parabolic inlet velocity profile. Sherwood number increases with the inlet average velocity, wall mass transfer coefficient, and bifurcation angle since the boundary layer grows slower in the parent and daughter branches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number011013
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


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