The effect of particle diameter on downward co-current gas-liquid flow through a fixed bed of particles confined within a cylindrical column is investigated. Several hydrodynamic regimes that depend strongly on the properties of the gas stream, the liquid stream, and the packed particle bed are known to exist within these systems. This experimental study focuses on characterizing the effect of wall confinement on these hydrodynamic regimes as the diameter d of the spherical particles becomes comparable to the column diameter D (or D/d becomes order-unity). The packed bed consists of polished, solid, spherical, monodisperse particles (beads) with mean diameter in the range of 0.64–2.54 cm. These diameters yield D/d values between 15 and 3.75, so this range overlaps and extends the previously investigated range for two-phase flow. Measurements of the pressure drop across the bed and across the pulses are obtained for varying gas and liquid flow rates.

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