On the internal solids circulation rates in freely-bubbling gas-solid fluidized beds

Article

Medrano Jimenez, J.A., Taşdemir, M., Gallucci, F. & van Sint Annaland, M. (2017). On the internal solids circulation rates in freely-bubbling gas-solid fluidized beds. Chemical Engineering Science, 172, 395–406-395–406. In Scopus Cited 2 times.

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Abstract

 

The solids mass flux distribution and internal solids circulation rates in freely-bubbling gas-solid fluidized beds has been studied in detail in a pseudo-2D column. A non-invasive Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) combined with Digital Image Analysis (DIA) technique has been further extended to investigate and quantify the gas and solids phase properties simultaneously for different particle types and sizes (all Geldart B type) at different fluidization velocities. It is found that the solids fluxes increase strongly, practically linearly, as a function of the vertical position and depend on the excess gas velocity but not on the particle size, while the most often used phenomenological two-phase fluidized bed models assume the vertical solids fluxes to be constant. To further investigate this important discrepancy, the underlying assumptions of the phenomenological models have been validated, especially concerning the average solids fraction inside the bubbles, the laterally and time-averaged axial bubble fraction profile (or visual bubble flow rate) and the wake parameter (the amount of solids carried along a bubble relative to the bubble volume). To this end, the PIV/DIA technique was further extended and a new method for the determination of the wake parameter is proposed. From the experimental results, it was concluded that i) the average solids fraction inside the bubbles is about 2.5–3% for glass beads and alumina particles and is practically independent of the excess gas velocity and particle size; ii) the measured laterally and time-averaged bubble fractions are considerably lower compared to often used correlations from literature, which would lead to a significant over-prediction of the visual bubble flow rate and iii) the wake parameter depends strongly on the bubble size and with the developed correlation the axial solids mass fluxes as a function of the vertical position can be well described. Finally, the influence of these findings was evaluated by performing a sensitivity analysis with an existing phenomenological model for fluidized beds with the new values and closures considering the case of the heterogeneously catalyzed steam methane reforming. With the developed findings and correlations the predictions with the two-phase phenomenological models can be further improved, especially concerning the hydrodynamics of the solids phase.