Numerical study on particle behavior in a Y-junction mixer for supercritical water hydrolysis

Yumi Uruno, Juwon Lee, Hanseob Jeong, Jaewon Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the continuous-type supercritical water hydrolysis process, rapid mixing of supercritical and subcritical streams is important to maximize yield and minimize degradation from over-reaction. This work investigated the particle behavior in a Y-junction mixer using large eddy simulation coupled with a discrete phase model, aiming to optimize the supercritical hydrolysis process for biomass conversion. A series of numerical simulations analyzed the influence of the mixer's orientation, flow directions, and flow rates on effective mixing and backflow prevention. The results demonstrated that the most effective mixing occurred in a vertically oriented Y-junction mixer with an upward-directed supercritical water inlet, aligning the momentum direction of natural and forced convection effectively. Consequently, over 80% of particles reached the temperatures close to the mixing temperature of supercritical and subcritical water within the Y-junction mixing zone, indicating enhanced mixing effectiveness and potential for efficient hydrolysis. This configuration also minimized backflow.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130072
JournalBioresource technology
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Feb

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Biomass
  • Discrete phase model
  • Large eddy simulation
  • Richardson number
  • Supercritical water hydrolysis
  • Y-junction mixer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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