Authors: Jong, J.F. de, T.Y.N. Dang, M. van Sint Annaland, and J.A.M. Kuipers.
Source: This paper was published in Powder Technology.
Abstract: Fluidized bed membrane reactors gain worldwide increasing interest for various applications. Nevertheless, fundamental understanding of the hydrodynamics of these reactors is required in order to improve the future design of these reactors. This study focuses on a pseudo-2D fluidized bed containing flat vertical membranes, through which gas can be added to – or extracted from – the fluidized suspension. By employing Digital Image Analysis (DIA) in combination with Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV), both solids motion as well as bubble properties were investigated in detail. In addition the experimental results were compared to computational results obtained from a Discrete Particle Model (DPM) and a Two-Fluid Model (TFM).
Comparison between results obtained from a 4 cm wide bed and a (previously used) 30 cm bed revealed that the effect of gas addition is qualitatively the same (solids motion inverts and average bubble size decreases). During gas extraction, bubbles (and solids) are forced towards the center, enhancing bubble coalescence compared to the reference condition. Both the DPM and the TFM qualitatively capture these phenomena well. However, these models are not able to predict the experimentally observed solids motion and gas bubbles behavior quantitatively. DPM and TFM simulations for a wider bed reveal that grid dependency and maximum solids fraction play an important role with respect to solids motion. Furthermore, the porosity distribution shows significant differences between the DPM and TFM models..