Hydrogen is becoming an increasingly attractive alternative fuel. As such it is important to investigate different methods of hydrogen production. This thesis examines the thermochemical process of splitting water using the three stage CuCl Cycle. In particular it examines the hydrodynamics of a direct heat contact, CuCl’s oxygen reactor for a two-phase system, using a three dimensional, Eulerian-Eulerian Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model. The model was first verified using experimental results and compared to a two-dimensional CFD model by examining the gas holdup (αg) using a Helium-Water-Alumina system for different reactor heights (H) (45,55,65 cm), different superficial gas velocities (Ugs) (0.05-0.15 m/s), and different solid particle concentrations (Cs) (0%, 5%, 10%). The three-dimensional He-H2O-Al2O3 system was able to accurately model the trends of the αg while changing the reactor (H), Ugs, and Cs with a maximum percent error of 8.37%. Additionally, the model was more accurate at lower Cs. The three-dimensional model was more accurate and somewhat over predicted the αg in comparison to the two-dimensional model. The model was then used to predict the hydrodynamic trends for the O2- CuCl system when changing the reactor H and Ugs. The model under predicted the hydrodynamic trends compared to the helium-water system and was found to be less accurate with a maximum percent error of 48.6%. In both systems it was concluded that αg increases when increasing the Ugs. A 95% increase in the αg was observed in the He-H2O-Al2O3 system for Cs=0% and H=45cm when increasing the Ugs form 0.05m/s to 0.15m/s. Furthermore, the αg increased by decreasing the H as an 11% decrease in αg was observed for Cs=0% at a Ugs of 0.05m/s when increasing the H from 45cm to 65cm. Lastly, increasing the Cs decreased the αg by 6% for a H=45cm and Ugs of 0.05m/s when increasing the Cs from 0% to 10%.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Hydrogen as fuel--Technological innovations; Computational fluid dynamics; Hydrodynamics

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)


Ghalib Kahwaji

Advisor/Committee Member

Mohamed Samaba

Advisor/Committee Member

Mohammed Abdulrahman


RIT Dubai

Plan Codes