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HEAT TRANSFER IN PACKED BED REACTORS WITH ONE


PHASE FLOW
a

V. SPECCHIA , G. BALDI & S. SICARDI

Istituto di Chimica Industrial , Poiitecnico, Torino, 10100, Italy


Published online: 30 Mar 2007.

To cite this article: V. SPECCHIA , G. BALDI & S. SICARDI (1980) HEAT TRANSFER IN PACKED BED REACTORS WITH ONE PHASE
FLOW, Chemical Engineering Communications, 4:1-3, 361-380
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00986448008935916

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Chem. Eng. Commun. Vol. 4, pp. 361-380


0098-6445/80/0402-0361 S04.50/0

Gordon

and Breach, Science Publishers Inc., 1980


Printed in the U.S.A.

HEAT TRANSFER IN PACKED BED REACTORS


WITH ONE PHASE FLOW
V. SPECCHIA, G. BALDI AND S. SICARDI

Istituto di Chirnica Industriale.


Politecnico, 10100 Torino, Italy

Downloaded by [Bibliotheek TU Delft] at 03:18 28 February 2014

(Received June I. 1979;injinalform August 24, 1979)


An extensive array of literature data on the heat transfer from a reactor wall to a fluid flowing through a
packed bed and those obtained from some experimental runs were interpreted with a model containing two

parameters: k, (effective radial thermal conductivity within the bed) and h. (heat transfer coefficient at the
wall).
Both parameters were considered in terms of a stagnant contribution (due to the heat conduction through

the solid particles and the fluid in the void space) and a radial mixing contribution (due to the heat
convection by turbulent mechanism.
The stagnant contribution was interpreted with a model similar to that proposed by Kunii and Smith
(1966) for heat transfer in a packed bed with motionless fluid.
General correlating equations for calculating the stagnant and the turbulent contributions of both k, and
h. are proposed.

INTRODUCTION
Radial heat transfer in tubular, fixed bed, catalytic, reactors is of the utmost
importance with regard to yield, stability, process selectivity and catalyst deactivation.
Much research work has been carried out on this subject and several models have been
proposed. These can be grouped according to their aim: models for interpreting the
heat transfer rate from the wall, and models for explaining the intimate heat transfer
mechanisms in the bed.
The first examples of the former were one-parameter models characterized by an
overall heat transfer coefficient (Colburn, 193\; Leva, \947; Leva and Grummer,
1948; Leva et al.. 1948; Leva, \950; Maeda, 1950; Maeda, 1951) or an effective radial
thermal conductivity (Singer and Wilhelm, 1950; Hougen and Piret, 1951). The
current model however, uses two parameters: an effective radial thermal conductivity
in the bed, k" and a heat transfer coefficient in the wall zone h; (Coberly and
Marshall, \95 l ; Felix, 1951; Campbell and Huntington, 1952; Plautz and Johnstone,
1955; Quinton and Storrow, 1956; Calderbank and Pogorski, 1957; Vagi and Wakao,
1959; Vagi and Kunii, \960; Kunii et al., 1968; De Wasch and Froment, 1972),
introduced because a strong decrease in k, was observed near the wall (Kwong and
Smith, 1957). Such model describes the radial temperature profile much better than
the one-parameter model based on an effective radial conductivity only. Some workers
(Agnew and Potter, 1970; Gunn and Khalid, \975; Dixon et al., 1978) took axial
thermal conductivity into consideration (three-parameter model), but found that this
parameter plays a considerable role in the case of shallow beds and low fluid velocity
only. Dixon et al. (1978), in fact, by using ceramic beads and steel spheres with
5.6"" D,jDp "" I 1.2, found that for ZjDp ;;;" 10-15 the radial thermal conductivity

362

V. SPECCHIA, G. BALDI AND S. SICARDI

calculated with the two-parameter model is practically coinciding with that determined with the three-parameter model, at least for 70 .. Re .. 380.

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All these models can be defined as pseudo-homogeneous, since they consider the
two-phase system (fluid and solid particles) through which heat is transferred as
homogeneous: no temperature differences, in fact, are assumed between the two
phases. It is generally accepted that heat in the bed is transferred partially by
turbulent mixing (convective mechanism) and partially by conduction through the
solid phase and the fluid itself (conductive mechanism), the former being greatly
predominant at relatively high fluid velocities.
Many models for k, have been proposed. These fall into two classes: those of one
class are pseudo-homogeneous models and convection and conduction mechanisms are
assumed to be independent of each other. Models of this kind have been adopted by
several workers (Yagi and Wakao, 1959; Vagi and Kunii, 1960; Kunii et al.. 1968; De
Wasch and Froment, 1972; Vagi and Kunii, 1957; Bauer and Schliinder, 1978a;
Bauer and Schliinder, 1978b) and are based on the experimental evidence that k,
Increases linearly as the fluid velocity VG increases, but does not ~anish at VG = 0; as a
consequence, k, is expressed as the sum of one term independent of and another term
dependent on VG'
The models of the other class, on the contrary, postulate local temperature
differences between the two phases; as a result, the rate of heat conduction through the
solid is affected by the solid-fluid heat transfer and this depends on the fluid velocity.
The models of this kind proposed by some workers (Agnew and Potter, 1970; Dixon et
al.. 1978; Bhattacharyya and Pei, 1975; Balakrishnan and Pei, 1974; Balakrishnan
and Pei, 1979a; Balakrishnan and Pei, 1979b) are probably closer to the actual
phenomena, but are clearly more complicated. On the other hand, it is not certain that
significant temperature differences between fluid and particles exist (Bunnel et al.,
1948).
Very few works have been devoted to explaining hw ; it has been suggested (Yagi and
Kunii, 1960; Kunii et al.. 1968; De Wasch and Froment, 1972) that this parameter too
should be expressed as the sum of two terms, one dependent on and the other
independent of the fluid velocity.
From a practical point of view, it is important to be able to evaluate the gross
parameters k, and hw The empiric correlations proposed by many workers are
generally based on their own data and very often do not fit those of other workers.
The aim of this work is to propose general correlations for the evaluation of k, and
two-parameter model for a gas flow
through a packed bed. The sources examined are listed in Table I, together with the
keys for the figures that follow. Almost all k, and h; data were obtained with a bed
height to particle diameter ratio (ZjDp ) ranging from 14 to 600 about; for only one
series of data this ratio has a value of 12. No influence of the bed height on the two
parameters value can be observed in this range of Zj D p

n., based on experimental data obtained with the

We have also determined data for beds of 6.10- 3 m and 12.9.10- 3 glass and
porcelain spheres and 6.10- 3 m porcelain Raschig rings; the experimental apparatus
and procedure are described elsewhere (Specchia and Baldi, 1979).
The radial temperature profile was measured at the end of the packed bed with

PACKED BED REACTORS

363

TABLE I
References

key

Packing

D xlO'
P

Coberly and

(1951)

Marshall

Iil!I

Celi te Cylinders

D , 100
c

D , 10'
e

'D , 10'

3.2x3.2

115

3.9

3.7

"

"

6.4,6.4

"

7.8

7.3

tiiI

"

"

9.5,12.7

"

12.9

12.0

3.2x3.2

127

3.9

3.7

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Fe l i x

(19511

AJ::,

"

"

6.4,6.4

"

7.8

7.3

V
'

"

9.5xl2.7

"

12.9

12.0

"

"

6.4,6.4

76

7.8

7.3

'V

"

"

9.5,11.7

"

12.9

12.0

3.2

"

3.2

3.2

6.4

"

6.4

6.4

50.8

4.9

4.6

11.7x13.5

152

16.3

14.8

6.4,7.4

152

8.2

7.7

6.5,6.7

102

8.0

7.5

7.2

\02

7.2

7.2

19.1

152

19.1

19.1

15.4

"

25.4

25.4

11.1

"

\1. 2

11.1

12.7

103

11.7

11.7

19.1

"

19.1

19.1

4.4

41.3

4.4

4.4

101

3.9

3.7

"

7.8

7.3

e
Q
Campbell and
Huntington

(1952)

Celite Cylinders

Glass Spheres

"

<#

SiIi ea Alumina

Aiuminulfl Cylin.

Johnstone(1955

Sob

C>

Glass Spheres

OUInton and

St or r ov

(1956)

Lal der-b ank and


Pcqcr s k i

(1957)

Hydrated Alumina
Cylinders

...

Plautz and

"

"

()

3.9, 4.1

Cylinders

"

Tabular Alumina

"

"

Tabular Alumina

Sph.
Glass Spheres

"

"

Glass Spheres

eel i t e Cylinders 3.1, 3.1

"

"

5.4)(

6.4

(continued)

364

V. SPECCHIA, G. BALDI AND S. SICARDI


TABLE I (continued)
ReEer enc es

Packing

ke y

, 103

P
Calderbank and

P090"ki

(1957)

Vagi and Wakao

( 1959)

c:
~
IJ

AlundulIl Sph,

"

Glass Spheres

I!l

"
"
"

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B3
G

3
10

*
e

3
10

6.4

102

6.4

6.4

12.7

"

12.7

12.7

0.76

36

0.76

0.75

0.91

"

0.91

0.91

2.6

2.6

2.6

6.0

"
"

6.0

6.0

1.28

"

1.28

1.28

"

1.81

1.81

"
"

"

1. 97

1. 97

1. 97

"

2.57

2.57

2.57

"

"

4.31

"
"
"

4.31

4.31

Leat Shot,

0.76

"

0.76

0.76

1;1

"

"

1.08

"

1.08

1.08

~
EI

"

"

1.5

"
"

1.5

1.5

3.1

3.1

ED

St .. l 8.1ls

3.1

Glass Beads

0.57

48*

0.57

0.57

"

0.94

0.94

0.94

"
"

2.75

"
"

2.75

2.75

5.1

"

5.1

5.1

12.3

"
"
"

12.3

12.3

3.0

3.0

11.2

11.2

"
"
"

Glass 8.11.

@,)

Lead Shots

3.0

<

9:.. 1 B.ll.

11.2

Celite Sphere

2B

140

2B

2B

"
Va

42

"

42

42

\l
and Ono (1968)
T

( 0 )

1.81

Kunii. Suzuki

(1972)

"

(9

Fr c ae n t

x:' 1 0

"

De Wash and

181

~
!5iI

(1960)

"
"
"

Cli nker- Parti


des

[I

Vagi and Kunii

"

2 5

"
P,11,t.

5.0,5.0

"

"

"
f,

3 4

Pellets

8.3,8.3

99
157.5
99

6.1

5.7

"

"

10.2

9.S

(continued)

PACKED BED REACTORS

365

TABLE I (continued)
References

De Wasch and
Fr-cae nt

(1972)

a>

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10J

x 10'

10'

o ,
e

10'

OPellet
3 4

8.3,8.3

157.5

10.2

9.5

V 0 Pellets
2 5

5.2,5.2

99

6.3

5.9

"

157.5

"

"

fe

"

"

Q
Our data

Packing

key

Glass Spheres

6.0

141

6.0

6.0

Ceramic Spb .

12.9

"

12.9

12.9

Ceramic Rings

6 , 6

"

8.4

6,7

I
I

Annular column D ,= 0.022 m, D 0=0.070 m.


c .;
C,
=

Values of k

are not available for the pellets employed

several thermocomples; the mixing-cup temperature To of the outlet fluid was also
measured. The heat was supplied to the bed at a constant wall temperature T w

MATHEMATICAL MODEL AND PARAMETER ESTIMATION


By assuming a uniform velocity of the gas phase through the reactor section,
disregarding the temperature differences between the gas and the solid particles in any
point of the bed, and neglecting the axial heat dispersion, a heat balance on a volume
element of the bed leads to:

aT ~ k (~aT + a
az 'r ar ar

2T)

Gc

(I)

with the following boundary conditions:


T- T,

aT
ar

-~O

z = 0,

2:

z 0,

z > 0,

r - R

(2)

366

V. SPECCHIA, G. BALDI AND S. SICARDI

By assuming k, and n; as constant along the packed bed for the given operating
conditions, integration of Eq. (I), with T; = constant, leads to:

(3)
were:

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Bi = h~1 k,

(Biot number)

(4)
(5)

and b. are the roots of:

(6)
By integration of the temperature profile in the outlet section, the mixing cup
temperature To can be determined with the following equation (Tsang et al .. 1976):

T w - To = ~
T; - T, Bi

._1 b

J,(b.) exp (-Ab~Z)


Jo(b.)[ I + (b.1 Bi)2]

(7)

n "

For the identification of k, and h w , several methods were employed, based on


measurement of the axial or the radial profile (or both) within the bed, together with
T" To and T w These methods were critically analyzed in the work of Tsang et al.
(1976). In the present work, k, and h; were evaluated with an optimization method
described elsewhere (Speechia and Baldi, 1979), which consisted in minimization of
the relative errors between the experimental and the calculated radial temperature
profiles; the agreement between the calculated and experimental To was also considered. The literature data indicate that the values of k, and h; are not affected by the
identification method employed. Figure I compares the experimental temperatures
and the "best" radial temperature profile calculated with the two-parameter model
(solid lines); the agreement between the experimental data and the calculated curve is
satisfactory. The best profile calculated with the one-parameter model based on the
effective conductivity is also shown (broken lines), using the equations developed by
De Wasch and Froment (1972); as can be seen, this model is less accurate.

EFFECTIVE RADIAL THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY (k,)


As already stated, the experimental results indicate that k, varies with VG in a linear
manner and does not disappear when V G ~ O. This pattern is clear from our k, data
(Fig. 2). Yagi and Kunii (1957) therefore regard k, as the sum of a stagnant (k,)o and
a radial mixing contribution (k')G:
k, - (k,)o

(k')G

(8)

367

PACKED BED REACTORS

Glass Spheres 6 mm
1

.8

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.6

vG= 0.12 mls


f::, vG =1.60 "
I

1-----+----+------.~9__-__t_rl_______\

T-T'I
TW -TI

.2
.2

.4

.8

.6

r/R
FIGURE I Radial temperature profile for 6.10-' glass spheres; full lines, two-parameter model; broken
lines,one-parameter model.

3
~

:=.::

-E

....
....

mm
12.9
"
"
Rings 6x6

Spheres 6

o Glass

<> Ceramic
"

til

'----'

II

o
o

L . . . - _........_ _""--_---J._ _...

.4

.8

FIGURE 2

k, versus

1.2

[m/sJ
VG for

the tested packings.

1.6

368

V. SPECCHIA, G. BALDI AND S. SICARDI

(k,)o is assumed to be independent of the gas hydrodynamics and to represent the


conduction contribution (through the solid and the fluid) to heat' transfer; (k')G
represents the convective contribution of the radial mixing and depends, above all, on
the hydrodynamics and the physical properties of the gas.

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STAGNANT (OR CONDUCTIVE) CONTRIBUTION (k,)o


Several models-some of considerable complexity-have been proposed for (k,)o
(Balakrishnan and Pei, 1974; Balakrishnan and Pei, 1979a; Balakrishnan and Pei,
1979b; Kunii and Smith, 1960; Bauer and Schliinder 1978b).
The simplest of these (though it has not escaped criticism) is that of Kunii and
Smith (1960).
This model provides for conduction through:
a) the fluid in the void space
b) the solid particles
c) the fluid near the contact points between the particles.
Heat transfer through the contact points of the solid particles was disregarded, since
the contact area was regarded as negligible.
Mechanisms b) and c) are in series and mechanism a) is in parallel with b) + c);
accordingly, Kunii and Smith wrote:

_(
k,_)o _ < + ,--(3.:....(1---:-,--<..:....)

kG

(9)

kG
cf> +-'Y
ks

where kG and k s are the thermal conductivities of the fluid and the solid particles
respectively.
(3, 'Y and cf> are the ratios between characteristic lengths and the particle diameter
(the particles are assumed to be spheres): (3 represents the dimensionless distance
between the centers of two neighbouring particles; 'Y is the dimensionless thickness of a
slab of solid material that would offer the same resistance to heat transfer as the
particle; is the dimensionless thickness of a slab of fluid which would offer the same
resistance to heat transfer as the stagnant fluid near the contact points.
On the basis of geometrical considerations, Kunii and Smith (1960) proposed (3 - I,
'Y = 2/3, and a rather complicated equation for cf>. While (3 - I may be acceptable, the
theoretical approach leading to the determination of 'Y and cf> would seem open to
criticism. The model, in fact, gives (k,)o values that are not in agreement with the
experimental values obtained by extrapolation from k, at V G = 0 (it should be noted
that Kunii and Smith checked their model primarily on the basis of (k,)o data obtained
with motionless fluid).

PACKED BED REACTORS

369

An empiric approach to the evaluation of l' and cf> has thus been attempted. This is
based on Kunii and Smith's suggestion that (k.)o depends on the number of contact
points between the particles (and hence on f), and on k s / kG'
By rearranging Eq. (9), one obtains:

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(10)

H is plotted in Fig. 3 as a function of k G / k s for constant values of f. The straight


Jines all had a slope of about 2/3 and the intercepts increased in function of f. Since
the slope of the straight lines is equal to l' [Eq. (10)], this parameter seems to be

gr----;-----,---,---r---r-----,-----,

f------+----+--+-----+---f---------7"'l""-~._.j

7 j----+----+-----I----t-7,r------b~'-I"'----____l

6
N

"l'""

[] =0.37

0.38
o
0.40
D.
0.43

3
2

FIGURE J

H as a function of kG/k s at constant, values.

370

V. SPECCHIA, G. BALDI AND S. SICARDI

actually independent on e and constant. Its empiric value is equal to that assumed by
Kunii and Smith, showing that their physical intuition was not too far from the truth.
Assurning v - 2/3, tf> was calculated from the experimental (k,)o values and plotted
vs. ~ in Fig. 4. It is apparent that tf> can be considered as solely dependent on e, and
independent of the shape and size of the particles and k s; the examined (k,)o values
cover a ks/k G range between 10 and 8000.
The best fit line of the data points in Fig. 4 has the following expression:

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(II)

Vagi and Kunii (1957), too, analyzed (k,)o data experimentally determined with a
motionless fluid by means of an equation similar to Eq. (9) and found tf> to depend on ~
raised to 1.84.
Krupiczka (1966) also used data from a motionless fluid to propose an empirical
correlation for (k,)o as a function of ~ and k s / kG' We tested this correlation with the
(k,)o values obtained by extrapolation at VG - O. The agreement was poor, however,
except for beds with high ks .
RADIAL MIXING CONTRIBUTION (k')G
Since, as we have seen, k, increases linearly with VG, (k')G/vG is a constant [see Eq.
(8)].
To correlate the (k,)G data (Coberly and Marshall, 1951; Campbell and Huntington, 1957; Plautz and Johnstone, 1955; Quinton and Storrow, 1956; CaJderbank and

Eq.(11) .

=-~ ~::-

4
... ,\~Q~- -

-- -_;.J --:::-

,.....

0- -

-:t!j~~~--

~~ ~'- --~-I
I- -

-_,\~QIQ

.4

FIGURE 4

as a function of e.

.5

.6

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PACKED BED REACTORS

371

Pogorski, 1957; Vagi and Wakao, 1959; Vagi and Kunii, 1960; Kunii et al.. 1968; De
Wasch and Froment, 1972), for packings of different shape and size, a modified Peclet
number based on (k,)c: PeH ~ vcPccPGD,/(k,)c was introduced, in which D, is the
diameter of a sphere with the same surface as the particle.
PeH was found to be independent of the Reynolds number Re - vePeD,/J.l.c, as
expected from the linear trend of k, vs. Ve, but dependent on the ratio between the
reactor diameter D, and D, when D,/D, :5 13. Fig. 5 shows PeH as a function of
DJD,.
A similar behaviour has been observed for the radial mass dispersion data plotted as
Peclet number (PeM - vcD,/DR) as a function of D,/D, (Fahien and Smith, 1955;
Dorrweiler and Fahien, 1959); introduction of the empiric parameter:
B ~ 1

+ 19.4 (D,/D.)'

(12)

showed that the ratio PeM/B is independent of D,/ D,.


B was then used to correlate the PeH values; the full line in Fig. 5 in fact, represents
the equation:
PeH

8.65 B

(13)

All the data are well correlated by this equation, with a mean relative quadratic
error of 5.8%.
For the radial mass dispersion, Smith (1970) shows a PeM/B range of 7-10,
irrespective of the Reynolds number; this range is in good agreement with the value
PeH / B ~ 8.65 obtained with the mixing contribution of the radial' heat dispersion
data.

4
- ---

.,

.~

~ ......

1')

~~

. Eq.(13)
~j

('i)

T"<.I"

FIGURE 5

Pe as a function of DJ De-

372

V. SPECCHIA, G. BALDI AND S. SICARDI

The influence of D, on (ke)a for low values of DelDe is probably connected with the
increase of the bed void fraction near the wall, and hence with the variation in the fluid
velocity profile. The effect of the wall on the bed void fraction extended for about two
particle diameters into the bed (Shaffer, 1953). When Del De is large, this effect is
confined to a thin zone (as compared with the reactor section) near the wall; for low
Del De values, it may affect significantly the velocity profile in a wide zone of the
reactor section.

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WALL HEAT TRANSFER COEFFICIENT (h w )


The empiric correlations for h; proposed by various workers on the basis of their own
data, usually do not fit those of others very well.
Hanratty (1954) proposed a theoretical model that fitted some of the data from the
works listed in Table I well, but was in complete disagreement with other data,
especially at low Reynolds numbers. This is probably due to the fact that h; has
generally been regarded as a hydrodynamic parameter only, whereas heat transfer in
the wall zone may be due to different mechanisms; of these, the conductive mechanism
cannot be neglected.
It has been observed (Yagi and Kunii, 1960; Kunii et al., 1968; De Wasch and
Froment, 1972) that h; does not seem to vanish when Va ~ O. This pattern is clear in
our plot for h; (Fig. 6).
As for k.. therefore, h; can be expressed as the sum of a stagnant (or conductive)
cotribution (hw)o and a turbulent (or convective) contribution (hw)o:
(14)

STAGNANT (OR CONDUCTIVE) CONTRIBUTION (hw)o


We used the same simplified approach as that proposed for (ke)o by Kunii and Smith
( 1960).
Accordingly, the heat flux from the wall can be written (see Fig. 7):

(15)

where 'w is the bed void fraction in the wall zone, t:J.r is the thickness of this zone
(which may be considered as equal to D: 12), t:J. T is the temperature gradient
(considered as equal for both the solid phase and the fluid), and Qs is the heat
is the diameter of a sphere with
transferred by conduction through the solid phase.
the same volume as the particle; this equivalent diameter has been suggested by Kunii
and Smith, since the particle volume is involved in the phenomenon of heat conduction
through the solid.

D:

PACKED BED REACTORS

373

2.5 r----------.......,.----;----r---,
o Glass Spheres 6 mm
o Ceramic " 12.9"
c
"
Rings 6x6 "

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1.51---f-------1----+---+~,-+-~-~~___i

11--+---Ic-~+_::~~=---+--+--+-______I

OL....-----J_---I._----I._---l._---l.._---l.._---L..._---'

.2

.4
vG
FIGURE 6

.6

.8

.1

1.2

1.4

1.6

[m/s]
h. versus VG for the tested packings.

FIGURE 7 Heat transfer model for the stagnant contribution in the wall zone. (l) heat conduction
through the fluid in the void space; (2) heat conduction through the solid phase in series with lhatthrough
the stagnant fluid near the particle-wall contact points.

374

V. SPECCHIA, G. BALDI AND S. SICARDI

Qs is considered to occur by conduction through the stagnant fluid near the


particle-wall contact surface, and by conduction through the solid phase; these two
mechanisms are in series with each other, so that we can write:

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(16)

where 1, is the thickness of a slab of solid material which would offer the same
resistance to heat transfer as one half sphere, and If is the thickness of a slab of fluid
which would offer the same resistance as the fluid near the contact points between the
solid particles and the wall.
By substituting Eq. (16) in Eq. (15) one obtains: .

( 17)

D:

D:

where 'Yw = 1,1


and <Pw = If l
are dependent on the geometry of the contact
between the particle and the wall. In this connection it may be observed that If is a
function of the curvature radii of both the wall and the particle (at constant D:, If
would decrease by decreasing Dc), so that it may be influenced by Del D:.
By rearranging Eq. (17), one obtains:

1- E
w- (h ) D*

wO~_2E

kG

'Yw

+ <Pw

(18)

kG
Figure 8 shows a plot of H; as a function of kGI k s at constant Del D: values.
Straight lines have been obtained all with the slope of about 113 (equal to 'Yw) and
intercepts which increase with Del D:. It is interesting to note that 'Yw = 'Y/2: for (hw)o,
in fact, half a sphere is involved in the conduction mechanism through the solid (Fig.
7), while for (k,)o two half spheres must be considered.
<Pw was then calculated according to Eq. (17) by using our data and those in the
literature for (hw)o (Coberly and Marshall, 1951; Felix, 1951; Plautz and Johnstone,
1955; Quinton and Storrow, 1956; Vagi and Wakao, 1959; Vagi and Kunii, 1960;
Kunii et al . 1968; De Wasch and Froment, 1972). The calculated <Pw values actually
depend on Del D: only, as can be seen from Fig. 9, where the best fit line has the
following expression:
(19)

<Pw is independent of k s; moreover, it must be noted that on introducing the diameter

f):, <Pw values for particles of different shape are satisfactorily in agreement.

PACKED BED REACTORS

375

.25
~e-

-r.

e-e-

c/O:=17.5

.2

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it>-A_A-

.15

I-"

c/ O:=14

.1

1...-0-

--

.05
4-

FIGURE 8

oU-pr\

OC/O: =10.7 -

'""

o
o

J---

..[]-

D~

nI

Oc/O:= 8
J,...--- ~-

:=4.3

Oc/ O
4

H. as a function of kG / k s at constant DJD: values.

TURBULENT (OR CONVECTIVE) CONTRIBUTION (hw)G


The Nusselt number (hw)GD./k G for our data and those in the literature (Coberly and
Marshall, 1951; Felix, 1951; Plautz and Johnstone, 1955; Quinton and Storrow, 1956;

376

V. SPECCHIA, G. BALDI AND S. SICARDI

~~

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<Pw

~I

~~v

Eq.(19)

-,

10
7

1,<:1

~ ,,
'J

1ft
/

J~~

:'1

Ifj~

10.1
7

/~

11;I

fB' i~' :>

/J,

/
~!/

_c~

,t:o
1 1

/,',

~
,

7 101 2

Oc/O:
FIGURE 9

<p. as a function of D,j D:,

Vagi and Wakao, 1959; Vagi and Kunii, 1960; Kunii et al. 1968; De Wasch and
Froment, 1972) has been correlated as a function of the Reynolds number Re vGPGD,/ IJ.G; this correlation is shows in Fig. 10 (For the keys, see Table I).
The data points agree very satisfactorily in the wide range of Reynolds numbers
investigated. Only the data of De Wasch and Froment (1972) for a larger diameter
reactor are higher than the average. Felix (1951), too, like De Wasch and Froment,
carried out runs by using the same cylindrical particles packed in two reactors of
different diameters; his data however, agree with the others.
Two correlating equations can be obtained from Fig. 10: one, valid for 10 .. Re ..
1200, has the following expression with a mean relative quadratic error of 9,9%:

377

PACKED BED REACTORS

(h.",~;D, ~

0.0835 (Re)091

(20)

The other, valid for 1200 ,,; Re < 10000, has the following expression, with a mean
relative quadratic error of 6.3%:

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(21 )
It must be noted that the use of D, leads to a satisfactory agreement between the
data for spherical, cylindrical, granular particles and Raschig rings; moveover, the two
proposed correlations fit the experimental data of many different workers (240 data
points).
Unfortunately, all the data examined were obtained with air only, so that the
influence of the Prandtl number could not be investigated.
CONCLUSION
Examination of many experimental data for heat transfer in packed beds, permitted
the proposal of general correlations for the a priori evaluation of k, (the effective

IO'\J~
.....~ ..

I
I
Eq.(21 J

...~~

-,' ... 't_",,,,,,~,

,l\."i.

'

fP-",., -

loP I.~~'

~
.
.rr
.

:~

Ct
~
~

.t:.

'-"

10

"

,Jit

:rR!
~.

7
5

~.

~<D')

~.

..''to'" Eq.(20J

./j"

5 7 102

5 7 103

Re
FIGURE 10

(h.lGD./ kG as a function of Re.

5 7 10

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378

V. SPECCHIA, G. BALDI AND S. SICARDI

radial thermal conductivity in the bed) and h; (the heat transfer coefficient at the
wall).
Both parameters have been expressed in terms of the contribution of the stagnant
heat conduction through the solid and the fluid in the void space, and the radial mixing
contribution of the fluid.
The proposed correlations cover a wide range of operative conditions, packing shape
and size, solid particle thermal conductivity and reactor diameter. Unfortunately, all
the examined data have been obtained with air only, so that data determined with
other gas phases are needed to check the reliability of the correlations.
Very few data of (k,)o and (k,)G concerning other gases have been found (Agnew
and Potter, 1970), but they have been not considered since determined with a
three-parameter model.
A few concluding remarks may be made with respect to the model used to interpret
the conductive contribution. This is clearly a radical simplification of the phenomenon
and relies on assumptions that are open to criticism. However, the fact that it leads to
the correlation of so many data obtained by so many different workers with a wide
range of variations in the shape, size, and above all the conductivity of the solid
material suggests that it is based on a presentation of the phenomenon that is not far
from the true one.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This research was partially supported by NATO grant n01474. Our thanks are due to prof. A. Gianello for
helpful discussions.

NOTATION

Bi = hwR/k,

Biot number, dimensionless

CpG

specific heat of the gas phase, Joule/kg K

o,

reactor diameter, m

D,

diameter of the sphere with the same external surface as


the particle, m

D*,

diameter of the sphere with the same volume as the


particle, m
nominal packing diameter, m
radial mass dispersion coefficient, m 2/s
gas superficial mass velocity, kg/rn" s
parameter defined by Eq. (10), dimensionless
parameter defined by Eq. (18), dimensionless
wall heat transfer coefficient, Watt/m 2 K
turbulent contribution, Watt/m' K

379

PACKED BED REACTORS


stagnant contribution, Wau/rn! K
zero-th order Bessel function, first kind
first order Bessel function, first kind

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effective radial thermal conductivity, Watt/rn K

(k')G

radial mixing contribution, Watt/rn K

(k,)o

stagnant contribution, Watr/m K

kG

gas phase thermal conductivity, Watt/rn K

ks

solid particle thermal conductivity, Watr/rn K

If

thickness of a slab of stagnant fluid near the particle-wall


contact points, m

I,

thickness of a slab of solid material with the same resistance as one half spherical particle, m

Pe H

vGPGcpGD,/(k,)G

Peclet number, dimensionless

Q,

heat transferred through the solid phase, Watr/rrr'

radius of the reactor, m


Reynolds number, dimensionless

radial coordinate, m

t:.r

radial distance from the wall equal to

temperature.vC

t:.T

temperature difference in the bed between r - Rand r R - D:12, C

D:12,m

inlet temperature, C
mixing-cup temperature, C
temperature at r - R,oC
wall temperature, C
gas superficial velocity, tn]

total height of the reactor, m

axial coordinate, m

Greek Letters

fJ

distance between the center of two neighbouring particles


in the bed referred to the particle diameter, dimensionless

'Y

thickness of a slab of solid material referred to the particle


diameter, dimensionless

'Y~ -

1,1 D:

dimensionless
average bed void fraction, dimensionless

380

V. SPECCHIA, G. BALDI AND S. SICARDI


bed void fraction in the wall zone, dimensionless

ILG

gas phase viscosity, kg/rns

PG

gas phase density, kg/m 3


thickness of a slab of fluid near the particle-particle
contact points referred to the particle diameter, dimensionless
dimensionless

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