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Karthick Palani, Sarangapani Palani, Prabakaran Venkatakrishnan, Gurumurthy

Veerapatharan, Mohammed Raffe Rahamathullah, Kalaisselvane Adhimoulame / International


Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622
www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 4, Jul-Aug 2013, pp.1644-1654

A Numerical Analysis of Novel Liquid-Gas Jet Ejector


Karthick Palani1, Sarangapani Palani2, Prabakaran Venkatakrishnan3,
Gurumurthy Veerapatharan3, Mohammed Raffe Rahamathullah4,
Kalaisselvane Adhimoulame5
1
Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engg. SKP Institute of Technology, Tiruvannamalai, India
2
Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engg. V.R.S.College of Engg.& Technology, Tamilnadu, India
3
Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engg. Dr.S.J.S.Paul Memorial college of Technology,
Pondicherry, India
4
Department of Mechanical Engg. Pondicherry Engineering College, Pondicherry, India
5
Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engg. Pondicherry Engineering College, Pondicherry, India

Abstract vacuum systems in which a high speed fluid stream


In this article, numerical investigations (typically steam) is used to generate vacuum.
have been carried out on ejectors employing liquid
as a motive fluid and air as the entrained fluid. A Ejectors also produce higher mass transfer rates by
numerical model has been developed to predict generating very small bubbles/droplets of the
the air entrainment rate taking into account: (i) dispersed phase, thereby improving the contact
the compressible nature of air, (ii) pressure drop between phases, which can then be injected into a
for two-phase flow and (iii) losses due to changes reaction vessel [1]. Compared to the other gasliquid
in cross sectional area. The effects of gas velocity, contacting systems like stirred tanks and bubble
liquid level in the suction chamber, nozzle columns, ejectors provide higher values of volumetric
diameter and throat diameter on the liquid mass transfer coefficient [2,3]. In chemical industries,
entrainment, entrainment ratio (L/G), pressure ejectors are also used to entrain and pump corrosive
drop, gas hold-up, mass transfer coefficient and liquids, slurries, fumes and dust-laden gases, which
interfacial area have been investigated. The otherwise are difficult to handle [4]. Jet ejectors can
simulated performance is compared with the also be used for mass transfer operations like gas
available experimental data from the literature absorption or stripping [5]. High values of mass
for validation. The entrainment rate predicted transfer coefficient and interfacial area enable a
from the numerical model shows good agreement substantial reduction in the size (and hence capital
with the experimental values. cost) of a mass transfer contactor. The benefits are
particularly important if the intrinsic rates of
I. Introduction chemical reactions accompanying the mass transfer
Ejectors are co-current flow systems, where operations are very high and a mass transfer
simultaneous aspiration and dispersion of the controlled regime prevails. For example, in the
entrained fluid takes place. This causes continuous chemical exchange process producing heavy water
formation of fresh interface and generation of large [6], a synthesis gas mixture of nitrogen and hydrogen
interfacial area because of the entrained fluid is contacted with liquid ammonia at high pressure
between the phases. The ejector essentially consists and low temperature conditions. The deuterium
of an assembly comprising of nozzle, converging absorption from the gas mixture into the liquid
section, mixing tube/throat and diffuser. According to ammonia takes place in the presence of KNH2 as a
the Bernoullis principle, when a motive fluid is catalyst. Deuterium is present in gaseous hydrogen as
pumped through the nozzle of a gasliquid ejector at HD at a concentration of about 100 ppm. HD
a high velocity, a low pressure region is created just dissolves into the liquid phase and reacts with
outside the nozzle. A second fluid gets entrained into ammonia to form deuteriated ammonia. The rate of
the ejector through this low pressure region. The this isotopic exchange reaction in the presence of
dispersion of the entrained fluid in the throat of the KNH2 is very fast as compared to the gasliquid mass
ejector with the motive fluid jet emerging from the transfer rate (at the temperature and catalyst
nozzle leads to intimate mixing of the two phases. A concentration employed on the industrial scale). The
diffuser section after the mixing tube/throat helps in rate of mass transfer, therefore, becomes the
the pressure recovery. The motive fluid jet performs controlling step in the overall process. To achieve
two functions; one, it develops the suction for the higher mass transfer rates, on each tray of the
entrainment of the secondary fluid and the second: it exchange towers, a large number of ejectors are
provides energy for the dispersion of one phase into provided. The use of ejector trays substantially
the other. This process has largely been exploited in reduces the size of the column required for the
operation.To design such gasliquid contactors, it is

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Karthick Palani, Sarangapani Palani, Prabakaran Venkatakrishnan, Gurumurthy
Veerapatharan, Mohammed Raffe Rahamathullah, Kalaisselvane Adhimoulame / International
Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622
www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 4, Jul-Aug 2013, pp.1644-1654
necessary to establish quantitative relationships A number of researchers have developed
between geometry of the ejector, the operating correlations for their respective geometries using
conditions and the performance of the ejector. The dimensional analysis (Table 1). Most of these
important design parameters for such contactors are correlations are similar but vary widely in the
entrainment rate, pressure drop across the entire exponents of different terms. For example, the
length, hold-up of the phases and mass transfer exponent of area ratio varies from 0.07 [10] to 0.68
characteristics within the ejector. A majority of the [4]. Bhutada and Pangarkar [10] reported four
published literature on ejectors deals broadly with the different correlations, one each for four throats
design and performance of steam and liquid-jet investigated by them. These correlations are highly
ejectors. The reported work on gasliquid jet ejectors specific to the nozzlethroat geometry and thus
with gas as the motive fluid and liquid as the cannot be generalized. Various authors [4, 5, 8, 11
entrained fluid is scanty. Therefore, studies were 14] have attempted to predict the entrainment rate
undertaken to investigate hydrodynamic and mass based on momentum and energy balances across
transfer characteristics of gasliquid ejectors with gas different sections of the ejector. Table 2 shows the
as the motive fluid.Based on the flow direction, three geometry of ejectors and the respective correlations
types of ejectors have been reported, viz., vertical up- obtained through such analysis as available in
flow, vertical down-flow and horizontal flow. Several literature. All the authors have applied a mechanical
authors have performed detailed experiments with all energy balance to account for the changes in the cross
the three types of ejectors and have developed sectional area of an ejector and a momentum balance
numerous correlations to predict the entrainment rate, across the straight sections of the ejector. The
gas holdup, mass transfer coefficient and interfacial empiricism in their work comes from: (i) fitted loss
area, empirically. In the following section, the coefficient, K, (ii) the pressure recovery factor, and
literature on entrainment rate (in terms of mass ratio), (iii) the correlation between Kand . From the
hold-up and mass transfer parameters has been analysis of the previous work, it can be said that the
analyzed first. It should be noted that almost all the relationships for mass ratio predictions are semi
correlations reported by various authors in the empirical and depend on the geometry, fluid
following section employ liquid as primary fluid and property, operating conditions. Mandal et al. [14]
gas as secondary fluid. assumed that the entrained gas as ideal and
isothermal. The energy loss coefficient across the
1.1 Mass Ratio nozzle was obtained from the energy balance.

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Karthick Palani, Sarangapani Palani, Prabakaran Venkatakrishnan, Gurumurthy
Veerapatharan, Mohammed Raffe Rahamathullah, Kalaisselvane Adhimoulame / International
Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622
www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 4, Jul-Aug 2013, pp.1644-1654
The pressure energy, kinetic energy and energy investigated by the authors. This means that the
dissipation per unit mass of the liquid and gas were contributions of the work for the gas compression
considered in the energy balance. No mixing was and the hydrostatic head are very small. Some of the
assumed in throat and diffuser and hence all the previous models reported by refs [5, 13, 14] take the
energy losses were only the frictional losses. The compressibility of air into account. But all these
values of Kejt can be back calculated from the ejector models were developed for liquid as the motive fluid
efficiency data given by ref. [14]. The values of Kejt and the gas as the entrained fluid.
were in the range 0.060.1 for various geometries

highly specific to particular nozzlethroat geometry.


1.2 Fractional Gas Hold-Up Zahradnik et al. [2, 16, 17, 19, 20] in a series of
Table 3 shows the geometry of the ejectors, papers have reported the use of ejector-type gas
methods of gas hold-up measurement and the distributors for the gasliquid contacting in bubble
correlations as available in literature. The gas hold-up columns. They have reported that an ejector acts as a
was correlated to ejector geometry, gas entrainment gas distributor that allows gas to be entrained into the
rate and energy dissipation per unit volume. The form bubble column rather than sparged. The gasliquid
of most of these correlations is similar but with a contact is first achieved in the ejector and
wide variation in the exponents of different terms. subsequently, the flow pattern generated in the
For example, the exponent of gas velocity varies bubble column produces good mixing of the gas and
from 0.55 [18] to 1.08 [25]. These correlations are the liquid phases. It was reported that for a given

1646 | P a g e
Karthick Palani, Sarangapani Palani, Prabakaran Venkatakrishnan, Gurumurthy
Veerapatharan, Mohammed Raffe Rahamathullah, Kalaisselvane Adhimoulame / International
Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622
www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 4, Jul-Aug 2013, pp.1644-1654
superficial gas velocity, higher fractional gas hold-up entrainment rate and a relatively weak function of the
was observed with the ejector distributor than that geometry of the ejector. They have developed
with a conventional sieve plate distributor. The gas correlation for predicting the gas hold-up for each
hold-up was further correlated empirically with the geometry of the diffuser. Cramers et al. [23] have
superficial velocity of the gas. The gas hold-up varied investigated the effect of the gas density on the gas
linearly with the superficial velocity of the entrained hold-up in ejector loop reactors. They have observed
gas, i.e. G = 3.47VG, in contrast to less than linear that the gas hold-up increases with gas density. They
variation of fractional gas hold-up using sieve tray too have found a linear relationship between the gas
distributor, i.e. G= 0.74V G0.6 . Dutta and Raghavan hold-up and the superficial velocity of the entrained
[9] have correlated the gas hold-up in the vessels gas in agreement with the observations of [16,21,25]
empirically with the specific power consumption have reported the regimes developed and the
(P/VL) in the vessel. Bhutada and Pangarkar [10] importance of swirl bodies in the ejector. All the
have studied the effect of diffuser type on the gas proposed correlations for the fractional gas hold-up
hold-up. Bhutada and Pangarkar [10] have shown are summarized in Table 3.
that the gas hold-up is a strong function of the gas

The fractional gas hold-up is a very strong The difference in the exponent with respect to power
function of the gas entrainment rate and this is consumption for the two diffusers investigated by ref.
reflected by the correlations proposed [10], which [9] is very small.
shows, G VG0.794 and [23], which shows G VG.

1647 | P a g e
Karthick Palani, Sarangapani Palani, Prabakaran Venkatakrishnan, Gurumurthy
Veerapatharan, Mohammed Raffe Rahamathullah, Kalaisselvane Adhimoulame / International
Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622
www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 4, Jul-Aug 2013, pp.1644-1654
1.3 Mass Transfer Characteristics proportional to the superficial gas velocity. For the
A number of physiochemical methods have higher liquid flow rates, this linear dependency
been reported in the literature for the estimation of vanishes abruptly caused by the change in the flow
volumetric mass transfer coefficient (kLa) of a regime. It was shown by these authors that the ratio
multiphase contactor. Physical absorption of a solute of DN/DThas a significant effect on the local energy
gas in a liquid, chemical absorption of oxygen in dissipation rate within the mixing zone and
aqueous solutions of sodium sulfite and chemical consequently on the local kL and a values. An
absorption of carbon dioxide in Na2CO3NaHCO3 optimum value of interfacial area was obtained for
solutions are commonly used for the determination of DN/DT of 0.4. Cramers and Beenackers [1] have
volumetric mass transfer coefficient [9,27]. For the reported a correlation for interfacial area as a function
estimation of interfacial area, chemical absorption of of the gas and liquid physical properties, specific
oxygen in aqueous sodium sulfite solutions and power input and the gas hold-up. The reported
absorption of CO2 in aqueous sodium hydroxide correlations for volumetric mass transfer coefficients
solution are the commonly used systems. Table 3 and interfacial area appear to depend significantly on
shows the geometry of ejectors used, methods of the geometry of the ejector and power input per unit
mass transfer coefficient (kLa) and interfacial area (a) volume. It isworth to re-emphasize that all these
measurements and the correlations obtained by correlations weredevelopedfor liquid as the motive
previous authors. Zahradnik et al. [17] has shown that fluid and gas as the entrained fluid. Thesemodels
the mass transfer coefficient in a bubble column cannot be directly used for the present system where
operated with an ejector gas distributor increased airis the motive fluid.Since the literature of ejectors
linearly with the superficial velocity of the entrained with gas as a motive fluid isscanty, it was thought
gas (kLa = 2.0VG). However, the mass transfer desirable to investigate the hydrodynamicand mass
characteristics for a conventional bubble column transfer characteristics of ejectors with air as a
operated with a sieve plate distributor can be primaryfluid with the help of detailedexperiments.
correlated as kLa = 0.75VG0.85. It has been reported
that the comparison of the two distributors shows that II. Description of the Model
for the same mass flow rate, the ejector distributor A high-pressure fluid (motive fluid) with
gives higher mass transfer coefficients. Moresi et al. very low velocity at the primary inlet is accelerated to
[28] investigated the performance of a ferrmentor high velocity jet through a converging nozzle for the
operated with an ejector. They have correlated the liquid jet pump or a converging-diverging supersonic
values of mass transfer coefficient empiricallywith nozzle for the gas ejector. The supply pressure at the
the power consumption per unit mass of the liquid. inlet is partly converted to the jet momentum at the
The values of mass transfer coefficient with 6 and nozzle exit. Thus the high velocity, low static
4mm diameter nozzles were not significantly pressure primary jet induces a secondary flow
different. Dutta and Raghavan [9] have empirically (propelled fluid) from the inlet or suction port and
correlated the values of mass transfer coefficients in accelerates it in the direction of the driving jet. The
ejector loop reactors with the power consumption per two streams then combine in the mixing section, and
unit volume of the reactor. Dirix and van der Wiele ideally the process is complete by the end of this
[22] have shown that there are two regimes in the section. A diffuser is usually installed at mixing
ejectors namely the bubble (froth) flow regime and chamber exit to lift the static pressure of mixed flow.
jet flow regime. In the bubble (froth) flow regime, the In the present model, the geometry at the throat and
mass transfer coefficient depends on gas and liquid the diffuser is modified to constant rate of
flow rates and also Reynolds number (calculated momentum change method and a pump is used to
from the fluid properties at the nozzle tip), whereas, increase the velocity of the primary stream at the
in the jet flow regime it depends only on the nozzle inlet. This reduces the momentum difference during
Reynolds number. Cramers et al. [23] have mixing and in turn reduces the kinetic energy losses.
correlated the interfacial area with the jet power and The schematic view of the present model is shown in
the gas velocity. They have reported that the liquid Fig.1. Based on the present model, an efficiency
height in the holding tank affects the mass transfer comparison is made to compare the small and large
characteristics of the ejector significantly. The overall momentum differences between the motive and
specific interfacial area increases with both the gas propelled streams.
and liquid flow rates. At the lower gas flow rates, the
gas holdup and the specific interfacial area are almost

1648 | P a g e
Karthick Palani, Sarangapani Palani, Prabakaran Venkatakrishnan, Gurumurthy
Veerapatharan, Mohammed Raffe Rahamathullah, Kalaisselvane Adhimoulame / International
Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622
www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 4, Jul-Aug 2013, pp.1644-1654

Figure 1(a): Description of the Model

Figure 1(b) Enlarged View of Jet Ejector

III. CFD Modelling which isequipped in an experimental mixing loop


Recently, with the rapid development of reactor. Theejector is modeled in two-dimensional
numericalsolution methods, some researchers have geometry inorder to get better agreement between
attempted toapply computational fluid dynamics simulationresults and the real conditions. The effect
(CFD) in modelingthe flow inside ejectors. Riffat and of operatingconditions and geometries on its
Omer [16]used a commercial CFD package to predict hydrodynamics andmass transfer characteristics are
the performanceof a methanol-driven ejector. investigated and validatedwith actual values obtained
Unfortunately,the results were not validated through from experiment.In this research, five different
any experimentaldata. Choi et al. [17] investigated models of ejector were developed to investigate the
numerically theflow of subsonic/sonic ejector of a influence of mixing tube length on the mass transfer
bleed pump. Ruslyet al. [18] simulated the flow characteristics. The ejector geometry is modeled on a
through ejector used incooling system. Sriveerakul et commercial software packageGambit software is
al. [19] investigatedthe performance of steam ejector employed for generating grid and CFD solver.
used in a refrigerationsystem. Although there are
numbers of papersthat have investigated the ejector 3.1 Geometries and Grids
numerically usingCFD, most of them did two- As proposed, Gambit software package was
dimensional modeling. Inthis case, the CFD analysis used to create the calculation domain and grid
could not account for theeffect of three-dimensional elements of the model. The mesh and model were
flow phenomena in thesuction chamber and in a part created in a three-dimensional (3D) domain to
of the mixing tubewhere the mixing phenomena account for the local details of the complex flow
occur.In this study, a CFD package (Fluent 6.3) is structure taking place during ejector operation. The
employedto analyze a small water jet air ejector geometries of the calculation domain of the modeled

1649 | P a g e
Karthick Palani, Sarangapani Palani, Prabakaran Venkatakrishnan, Gurumurthy
Veerapatharan, Mohammed Raffe Rahamathullah, Kalaisselvane Adhimoulame / International
Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622
www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 4, Jul-Aug 2013, pp.1644-1654
gas-liquid ejectors are described. For preliminary result, reasonable numbers of iterations were
results, the grid was initially made of about 100,000 conducted by refining the mesh in every stage of
structured trimmed quadrilateral cells with variation simulation. After several simulations, the fixed
of sub layer thickness to accommodate the curving number of cells with grid-independent result was
nature and sharp angle of the ejector geometries as obtained as 395,240 cells. In this study, the grid cell
shown in Figure 2.The concentration of grid density volume used in the CFD simulation of ejector was set
is focused on the areas where significant phenomena for about 400,000 cells.
are expected. In order to obtain the grid independent

Figure2 Meshed Model of Jet Ejector


range of 0.2 to 1.2. This ratio was selected in order to
3.2 Case setup maintain bubbly flow regimes inside the ejector.
As the working fluids used in this research
are water as primary fluid and air as secondary fluid, 3.4 Calculation of volumetric mass transfer
so the assumption of incompressible flow is coefficient
appropriate. Hence, the standard k- with high Based on their experimental results, Dirix
Reynolds number is selected to govern the turbulence and van de Wiele [22] recommend empirical
characteristics. The near wall treatment was left as correlations for mass transfer coefficient on the liquid
the standard wall function, which gives reasonably side for a down flow ejector as
accurate results for the wall bounded with very high
Reynolds number flow. The thermo physical
properties of the working fluids were obtained at 293
K and 300 K, respectively, for water and air. The
turbulence intensity was set to be 3.5% for primary
fluid.

3.3 Boundary conditions


Boundary conditions of two faces entering a
primary nozzle and ejector were set as velocity inlet Where,
and pressure inlet, respectively. The face at the exit
of ejector was set as outlet boundary. At the inlet
boundary, the velocity components, turbulent kinetic
energy and turbulent dissipation rate have to be

specified. The applied velocity at the inlet boundary Eq. (1) is used to calculate the volumetric
was based on the experimentally measured masstransfer coefficient of the ejector in the bubbly
volumetric flow rate, which was 4 m3/h of water. The flowregimes. Meanwhile, Eq. (2) is used for the jet
velocity of air was based on the QG /QLratio in the flowregimes inside the ejector. In this research, Eq.
(1), (2),and (3) will be used for the analysis of

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Karthick Palani, Sarangapani Palani, Prabakaran Venkatakrishnan, Gurumurthy
Veerapatharan, Mohammed Raffe Rahamathullah, Kalaisselvane Adhimoulame / International
Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622
www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 4, Jul-Aug 2013, pp.1644-1654
hydrodynamicsand mass transfer characteristics in ).The jet ejectors are designed for ER =1. Fluent
the ejector. simulation shows that the jet ejector designed based on
conventional method produces an ER = 0.57, whereas
IV. Results and Discussion high efficiency jet ejector produces an ER = 0.73. In
The simulated results have helped in conventional jet ejector there is drop in ER since shock
understanding the local interactions between the two wave occurs at the end of constant area mixing chamber.
fluids, and recompression rate which in turn made it Fig. 3 shows the static pressure along the axis of the jet
possible for a more reliable and accurate geometric ejector. The presence of shock wave increases the static
design and operating conditions. Many numerical studies pressure. Since shock wave generation is an irreversible
about supersonic ejectors have been reported since 1990s process, there is drop in efficiency of jet ejector. CRMC
in predicting ejector performance and providing a better method eliminates the formation of shock wave in the
understanding of the flow and mixing processes within mixing area. The cross sectional area of the mixing
the ejector (Riffat et al, Ouzzane & Aidoun, Alexis region of jet ejector is not constant. The mixing region
&Rogdakis, Chunnanond & Aphornratana , pump and diffuser are replaced by a convergent and divergent
(Beithou &Aybar ) and in mixing processes (Arbel et al diffuser.

Figure 3: Static Pressure along the Axis of High Efficiency Jet Pump

Figure 4: Velocity Magnitude along the Axis of High Efficiency Jet Pump
boundary layer effect a velocity gradient is observed
Figure (5) shows the pressure and velocity from the wall to the centre line flow of the jet
contour map inside the jet pump with conventional compressor. The view shows the conversion of pressure
model. It is seen from the contour plot that the maximum energy to kinetic energy as the flow becomes supersonic.
At the throat, due to momentum exchange with the
secondary fluid the flow becomes almost sonic. Further,
flow velocity occurs at the exit of the primary nozzle of in the diffuser section the remaining kinetic energy is
the compressor, after which the velocity decreases converted to pressure energy.
because of exchange of momentum and mixing with the
secondary fluid stream. It is also observed that due to the

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Karthick Palani, Sarangapani Palani, Prabakaran Venkatakrishnan, Gurumurthy
Veerapatharan, Mohammed Raffe Rahamathullah, Kalaisselvane Adhimoulame / International
Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622
www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 4, Jul-Aug 2013, pp.1644-1654

(a) Pressure Contour for High Efficiency Jet Pump

(b) Velocity Contour for High Efficiency Jet Pump


Figure 5: Pressure, Velocity Contours of High Efficiency Jet Pump

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Karthick Palani, Sarangapani Palani, Prabakaran Venkatakrishnan, Gurumurthy
Veerapatharan, Mohammed Raffe Rahamathullah, Kalaisselvane Adhimoulame / International
Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622
www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 4, Jul-Aug 2013, pp.1644-1654
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Karthick Palani, Sarangapani Palani, Prabakaran Venkatakrishnan, Gurumurthy
Veerapatharan, Mohammed Raffe Rahamathullah, Kalaisselvane Adhimoulame / International
Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622
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