Fluidization is defined as
-- an operation through which fine solids are transformed into a fluid like statethrough contact with either a gas or a liquid.
Under the fluidized state, the gravitational pull on granular solid particles is offset by thefluid drag on them. Thus the particles remain in a semi-suspended condition. A fluidizedbed displays characteristics similar to those of a liquid, as explained below with the helpof Figure 1.
Figure 1 A fluidized bed demonstrates all the characteristics of a fluid.
1.The static pressure at any height is approximately equal to the weight of bedsolids per unit cross section above that level.2.The bed surface maintains a horizontal level, irrespective of how the bed is titled;also the bed assumes the shape of the vessel.3.The solids from the bed may be drained like a liquid through an orifice at thebottom or on the side.4.An object denser than the bulk of the bed will sink, while one lighter than the bedwill float. Thus, a steel ball sinks in the bed, while a light shuttlecock floats on thesurface.5.Particles are well mixed, and the bed maintains a nearly uniform temperaturethroughout its body when heated.An increase in the gas velocity through a bed of granular solids brings about changes inthe mode of gas-solid contact in many ways. With changes in gas velocity the bedmoves from one state or regime to another.These regimes arranged tentatively in order of increasing velocities are
packed bed (fixed)
transport bed (pneumatic or entrained bed).