Analyzing the effects of particle density, size, size distribution and shape for minimum fluidization velocity with Eulerian-Lagrangian CFD simulation
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionLinköping Electronic Conference Proceedings. 2017, (138), 60-65. 10.3384/ecp1713860
Fluidized bed reactor systems are widely used due to excellent heat and mass transfer characteristics followed by uniform temperature distribution throughout the reactor volume. The importance of fluidized beds is further demonstrated in high exothermic reactions such as combustion and gasification where fluidization avoids the hot spot and cold spot generation. A bed material, such as sand or catalyst, is normally involved in fluidized bed combustion and gasification of biomass. Therefore, it is vital to analyze the hydrodynamics of bed material, especially the minimum fluidization velocity, as it governs the fluid flowrate into the reactor system. There are limitations in experimental investigations of fluidized beds such as observing the bed interior hydrodynamics, where CFD simulations has become a meaningful way with the high computer power. However, due to the large differences in scales from the particle to the reactor geometry, complex interface momentum transfer and particle collisions, CFD modeling and simulation of particle systems are rather difficult. Multiphase particle-in-cell method is an efficient version of Eulerian-Lagrangian modeling and Barracuda VR commercial package was used in this work to analyze the minimum fluidization velocity of particles depending on size, density and size distribution. Wen-YU-Ergun drag model was used to model the interface momentum transfer where default equations and constants were used for other models. The effect of the particle size was analyzed using monodispersed Silica particles with diameters from 400 to 800 microns. Minimum fluidization velocity was increased with particle diameter, where it was 0.225 m/s for the 600 microns particles. The density effect was analyzed for 600 microns particles with seven different density values and the minimum fluidization velocity again showed proportionality to the density. The effect of the particle size distribution was analyzed using Silica. Particles with different diameters were mixed together according to pre-determined proportions as the final mixture gives a mean diameter of 600 microns. The 600 microns monodispersed particle bed showed the highest minimum fluidization velocity. However, some particle mixtures were composed with larger particles up to 1000 micron, but with a fraction of smaller particles down to 200 microns at the same time. This shows the effect of strong drag from early fluidizing smaller particles. The only variability for pressure drop during packed bed is the particle size and it was clearly observed in all three cases.