This paper presents an experimental investigation on a modified airlift pump. Experiments were undertaken as a function of air-water flow rate for two submergence ratios (ε=0.58 and 0.74), and two different riser geometries (i) straight pipe with a constant inner diameter of 19 mm and (ii) enlarged pipe with a sudden expanded diameter of 19 to 32 mm. These transparent vertical pipes, of 1 m length, were submerged in a transparent rectangular tank (0.45×0.45×1.1 m3). The compressed air was injected into the vertical pipe to lift the water from the reservoir. The flow map regime is established for both configurations and compared with previous studies. The two phase air-water flow structure at the expansion region is experimentally characterized. Pipeline geometry is found to have a significant influence on the output water flow rate. Using high speed photography and electrical conductivity probes, new flow regimes, such as “slug to churn” and “annular to churn” flow, are observed and their influence on the output water flow rate and efficiency are discussed. These experimental results provide fundamental insights into the physics of modified airlift pump.

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