Lovreglio, Paolo

Flow MRI in packed and fluidized beds

 

Introduction

In most chemical processes flow systems are multiphase flows and not transparent and, when a fluid flows through a bed of solid particles, usually a catalyst, we have a catalytic reactor, which is very common in chemical industry. Its performance is strictly related to the flow field of the fluid within it. Without MRI, only overall properties can be determined, whereas the inhomogeneity of the catalyst structure causes significant local variations in holdup, wetting and fluid velocities.

We use MRI to visualize the flow, which we cannot see with optical (camera) techniques, and obtain quantitative data in cases where processes taking place in the interior remain obscure, which is often a major limitation.

Experimental results are needed to validate complex computational models, developed to simulate multiphase systems of industrial relevance, like packed and fluidized bed reactors.

 

Research objectives

  • Measuring phase fractions, velocities and dispersion in packed and fluidized beds.
  • Performing CFD simulations.
  • Comparing experimental and numerical results.