Two-Phase Turbulent Kinetic Energy Budget Computation in Co-Current Taylor Bubble Flow

E. M.A. Frederix, S. Tajfirooz, J. A. Hopman, J. Fang, E. Merzari, E. M.J. Komen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Simulation of two-phase flows is relevant for reactor design and safety at normal operation or during accident scenarios. Often, the two-phase flow is in a regime in which slugs are formed or where the flow stratifies. Modeling such situations using standard single-phase Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) turbulence models fails due to an overestimation of the eddy viscosity at the resolved two-phase interface. To solve this, an ad hoc turbulence damping term has been proposed in the literature that reduces the turbulence production locally at a two-phase interface, analogously to turbulence wall functions. However, this approach must be tailored to the specific setting and does not consider physical contributions such as surface tension or flow topology. Therefore, the problem of two-phase interfacial turbulence must be studied more in-depth. In this work, we consider co-current turbulent Taylor bubble flow using high-fidelity numerical simulation. The Basilisk code is used to simulate a Taylor bubble rising in a vertical pipe. By simulating the bubble in a moving frame of reference, we may study the turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) budgets ahead of the bubble, in its wake, and across the interface. The implementation of the TKE budget computation and the underlying averaging techniques are validated for the single-phase region ahead of the Taylor bubble using reference direct numerical simulation data. The analysis of the TKE budgets in the setting of Taylor bubble flow allows for the study of how turbulence behaves due to the presence of a two-phase interface and, in turn, supports the improvement of two-phase RANS models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2585-2601
Number of pages17
JournalNuclear Science and Engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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