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Powder Technology xxx (2015) xxxxxx

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Powder Technology
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Gassolid ow and heat transfer in uidized beds with tubes: Effects of


material properties and tube array settings
Q.F. Hou , Z.Y. Zhou, A.B. Yu
Laboratory for Simulation and Modelling of Particulate Systems, School of Materials Science and Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Laboratory for Simulation and Modelling of Particulate Systems, Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Available online xxxx


Keywords:
Computational uid dynamics
Discrete element method
Tube array
Fluidization
Heat transfer

a b s t r a c t
The effects of material properties and tube array settings on gassolid ow and heat transfer characteristics in uidized beds with tubes are investigated by the combined approach of computational uid dynamics and discrete
element method, incorporated with heat transfer models. First, the effect of material properties is illustrated by
considering cohesive and non-cohesive powders with different particle sizes. The contributions of different heat
transfer mechanisms are discussed at two tube temperatures. Signicant differences of gassolid ow between
cohesive and non-cohesive powders are observed. The results reveal that conductive heat transfer between a
uidized bed and a tube is dominant for small cohesive particles while convective heat transfer is dominant
for large non-cohesive particles. Then, the uniformity of particle velocity and temperature elds is analyzed. It
is shown that material properties and gas velocity affect the uniformity of particle velocity and temperature in
a complicated manner. Finally, the effect of tube array settings is examined in terms of two geometrical parameters for both in-line and staggered settings. Complicated gassolid ow and heat transfer characteristics are
observed. An effort is made to link macroscopic observations to microscopic information such as local porosity
and contact number between uidized particles and tubes. The ndings should be helpful for the optimization
of operation and design of uidized systems with tubes.
2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
Fluidized bed reactors are widely used in industries mainly due to
their high heat and mass transfer capability. Immersed surfaces such
as vertical or horizontal tubes, ns, and water walls are usually adopted
to control ow and heat transfer. Heat transfer performance is affected
by many factors such as material properties of gas and solid phases,
geometrical settings and operating conditions. In the past, many macroscopic studies have been carried out in this eld, leading to the formulation of various correlations to determine the heat transfer coefcient
(HTC) of uidized beds as, for example, summarized by Kunii and
Levenspiel [1] and Molerus and Wirth [2]. These correlations have
shown their value in solving some practical problems. However, the
predictions by some correlations show signicant differences partly
due to negligence of certain parameters and unknown experimental
set-up and conditions [3]. To produce equations that can be generally
applied to different systems, microscopic understanding of ow
and heat transfer mechanisms at a particle scale is helpful. Such understanding can be obtained through experimental and/or numerical
Corresponding author at: Laboratory for Simulation and Modelling of Particulate
Systems, Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800,
Australia. Tel: +61 3 99050845.
E-mail address: qinfu.hou@monash.edu (Q.F. Hou).

approaches. In recent years, experimental examination of the heat


transfer at a particle scale has been attempted by various investigators,
often done by measuring the temperature evolution of a tracing particle
[46]. The resulting information is useful for fundamental understanding and model validation. To generate a more comprehensive picture
of heat transfer, in recent years numerical studies have been carried
out for various uidized systems based on the combined computational
uid dynamics (CFD) and discrete element method (DEM) approach
[721]. The models developed vary in some details and have different
advantages and limitations. However, they all demonstrate that the
combined CFDDEM approach, incorporated with heat transfer models,
is an effective technique for investigating heat transfer in uidized
systems at a particle scale.
Fluidization and related heat transfer behaviors vary with the type of
powders as classied by Geldart [22]. However, most of the previous
investigations are focused on large particles. Only a few investigators
studied heat transfer characteristics of ne particles theoretically or
experimentally, focusing on macroscopic HTC of packed beds rather
than uidized beds [2329]. Di Natale et al. [24] found that HTC
between a uidized bed of ne particles and an immersed spherical or
cylindrical surface increases with the increase in particle Archimedes
number (which is a function of particle density and size, and uid
density and viscosity). Recently, heat transfer between a tube/probe
and a uidized bed has been investigated by the combined CFDDEM

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2015.03.028
0032-5910/ 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Please cite this article as: Q.F. Hou, et al., Gassolid ow and heat transfer in uidized beds with tubes: Effects of material properties and tube array
settings, Powder Technol. (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2015.03.028

Q.F. Hou et al. / Powder Technology xxx (2015) xxxxxx

approach [11,12,14]. The contributions of different heat transfer mechanisms are discussed [11], and the effects of some material properties
such as particle size and particle thermal conductivity are examined
[12,14]. In uidized beds, uniform particle velocity and temperature
distributions are often desired for heat transfer and chemical reactions.
If the uniformity is not good enough, hot spot, as pointed out by Kaneko
et al. [30], could be formed. Somehow, this important issue has not been
addressed in detail in the previous studies.
A tube array rather than a single tube is often used in uidization
systems. One major concern is the setting of a tube array, related to
heat transfer and tube erosion [3133]. Previous studies of such systems
have been mainly conducted by using two-uid models [3436] or
by experimental approaches [3739]. Recent studies on the setting
of a tube array are carried out by means of the CFDDEM approach
[40,41]. Some interesting ndings are presented, but controversies can
also be identied. For example, the signicant effect of tube pitch on
the erosion has been demonstrated [35]. While no signicant difference
in terms of bubbling behaviors or heat transfer between different tube
settings (in-line and staggered) is observed [34,41], quite different
factors underlying heat transfer such as particle impacts and bubble behaviors are predicted by the CFDDEM approach [40]. A possible reason
could be that particle scale interactions are not sufciently considered.
The different observations indicate that there is a need for further investigation of the effect of tube array settings on gassolid ow behavior. In
particular, the effect on heat transfer and the underlying mechanisms
should be properly understood.
In this work, in connection with our previous efforts [14,15], two
signicant concerns relevant to gassolid ows and heat transfer characteristics are addressed by using the combined CFDDEM approach. Firstly,
the effect of material properties for different types of particles including
non-cohesive and cohesive particles is investigated for a uidized bed
with a horizontal tube. The uniformity of velocity and temperature elds
is quantied. Secondly, the effect of tube array settings is investigated for
a uidized bed with multiple horizontal tubes. The complicated variation
of heat ux between the uidized bed and tubes is discussed in terms of
microscopic information such as local porosity and contact number between particles and tubes. The ndings should be useful for better understanding and prediction of heat transfer in gas uidization.
2. Model description
2.1. Governing equations for solid phase
Here, gas uidization is considered to be composed of a discrete solid
phase and a continuum gas phase. The solid phase is described by DEM,
originally proposed by Cundall and Strack [42]. At any given time t, the
equations governing the translational and rotational motions of particle
i can be written as:


mi dvi =dt j f e;ij f d;ij f v;ij f pf ;i mi g;

and


Ii di =dt j Tt;ij Tr;ij ;

where the equation for the van der Waals force is written as:

f v;ij



3 3
64Ri Rj h Ri Rj

2 n:
2 
h2 2Ri h 2Rj h 4Ri Rj
h2 2Ri h 2Rj h
Ha
6

The forces involved are: particleuid interaction force fpf,i, the gravitational force mig and the forces between particles (and between particles and walls) which include the elastic force fe,ij, the viscous damping
force fd,ij and the cohesive force fv,ij. Note that the cohesive force fv,ij,

considered here is the van der Waals force given by Eq. (3), which depends on the Hamaker constant Ha and the separation h of the interacting
surfaces along the line joining the centers of particles i and j. Ri and Rj are
the radii of particles i and j respectively. A minimum separation hmin is
used in the calculation of fv,ij to represent the physical repulsive nature
and avoid the singular attractive force when h = 0. This treatment has
been proved to be valid for particles down to 1 m [4345]. The torque
acting on particle i due to particle j includes two components: Tt,ij
which is generated by the tangential force and causes particle i to rotate,
and Tr,ij which, commonly known as the rolling friction torque, is generated by asymmetric normal contact forces and slows down the relative
rotation between contacting particles [46,47]. If particle i undergoes multiple interactions, the individual interaction forces and torques are
summed up for all particles interacting with particle i. The equations
used to calculate the particleparticle interaction forces and torques,
and particleuid interaction forces have been well established as, for example, reviewed by Zhu et al. [48]. The equations used for the present
work are the same as those used in our previous studies [20,49].
The heat transfer between particle i and its surroundings have three
modes: convection with uid, conduction with other particles, tubes or
walls, and radiation with its local environment. According to the energy
balance, the governing equation for particle i can be written as [10]:

mi cp;i dT i =dt j Q i;j Q i; f Q i;rad Q i;wall Q i;tube ;

where Q i; j is the conductive heat exchange rate between particles i

and j; Q i; f is the convective heat exchange rate between particle i and

its local surrounding uid; Q i;rad is the radiative heat exchange rate

between particle i and its local surrounding environment; Q i;tube is the


conductive heat exchange rate between particle i and tubes; and

Q i;wall is the conductive heat exchange rate between particle i and


wall. Mathematically, Eq. (4) is the same as the so-called lumpedcapacity formulation, where the thermal resistance within a particle is
neglected [50]. This condition is valid when the Biot number, dened
as h (Vi/Ai)/kpi, is less than 0.1, where h is the heat transfer coefcient;
Vi is the particle volume; Ai is the particle surface area; and kpi is the particle thermal conductivity. However, as noted by Zhou et al. [10], Eq. (4)
is established on the basis of energy balance at the particle scale. So, the
values of parameters (e.g. mi, cpi, Ti, and kpi) involved should be the
representative properties of the particle at this scale, which may need
further studies in the future. So is the case for the equations used to
calculate heat exchange rates involved.
The equations to calculate heat exchange rates in Eq. (4) are listed in
Table 1, and the treatments for heat transfer between a tube and a uidized bed have been discussed and used in the previous studies [10,
1315]. Four conductive heat transfer mechanisms are considered
in the present work, including the conduction through particleuid
particle path: (1) between non-contacted particles, or (2) between
contacted particles; and the conduction through particleparticle
path: (3) between particles in enduring contact, or (4) between
particles in collisional contact. Note that Eq. (c) in Table 1 is for the conductive heat transfer mechanisms (1) and (2) between particles i and j;
and Eqs. (d) and (e) are for the conductive heat transfer mechanisms
(3) and (4), respectively.
The treatments of a tube are outlined below. A tube is treated as
walls because its size is much larger than a particle or a computational
cell used in CFD; otherwise, it can be treated as a particle. The conduction between a tube and a particle is considered in a similar manner to
that between particles. The equation used for evaluating the local
convection heat transfer between the tube and uid is the same as
those between a wall and uid. For the present study, the domain size
for the radiative heat transfer between particles is the same as a computational cell 2dp. The denition of bed temperature (Tbed) and tube
environmental temperature (Te) is the same as Tlocal,i. The local porosity

Please cite this article as: Q.F. Hou, et al., Gassolid ow and heat transfer in uidized beds with tubes: Effects of material properties and tube array
settings, Powder Technol. (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2015.03.028

Q.F. Hou et al. / Powder Technology xxx (2015) xxxxxx

Table 1
Equations to calculate heat exchange rates.
Heat exchange rates
Convective

Equation



Q i;f 2:0 aRebi Pr1=3 kf Ai T=dpi

Q f ;wall 0:037Re0:8 Pr
Conductive

Radiative

(a)
(b)

1=3

k f Aw T=L
q 


 
 q  1

 rsf

Q i;j T j T i r 2r
R2i r 2 r R2i H
r ij 1=kpi 1=kpj 2 R2i H R2i r 2
dr
kf
sij




Q i;j 4r c T j T i = 1=kpi 1=kpj



1=2 
1=2 



1=2
= pi cpi k
pj cpj kpj
Q i;j c T j T i r 2c t c





 k

T j ji=k
Q i;rad eAi T 4local;i T 4i ; Q f ;rad ef Af T 4local;i T 4f where T local;i f T f ; 1f j1

(c)

and Te in the vicinity of the tube are obtained for an annular region
around the tube with a thickness of 5dp in its radial direction. All these
treatments have been used in our previous study and proved to work
satisfactorily [14].
2.2. Governing equations for uid phase
The uid phase, air to be specic for this study, is treated as a continuum phase and modeled in a way similar to the one widely used in the
conventional two-uid model [51]. In this connection, there are three
sets of governing equations, developed by Anderson and Jackson [51].
Different governing equations may lead to different results, depending
on the systems considered. According to Zhou et al. [20], Set II and in
particular Set I can be used generally, and Set III can only be used conditionally. In this work, Set I is used. Thus, the conservations of mass and
momentum in terms of the local averaged variables over a computational cell are given by:



.
f f
t f f u 0;

and

.


f f u t f f uu pFf p f f g:

(d)
(e)
(f)

The corresponding energy equation for heat transfer can be written


as:

.


;
f f cpf T t f f ucpf T ke T Q

where u, f, p and Ffp are the uid velocity, density, pressure and volumetric

h
i
1

uidparticle interaction force, respectively; f u u




kv
2
are the uid viscous stress
3 f uk and f 1i1 V i =V
tensor and porosity respectively, with Vi representing the volume
of particle i (or part of the volume if the particle is not fully in a
CFD cell), and k V the number of particles in the computational
cell of volume V. Note that i is the local porosity for particle i to
calculate particleuid drag force and f is determined over a computational cell for uid phase. Theoretically, the two porosities are not
necessarily the same. For convenience, in the present work, i = f. ke
is the effective uid thermal conductivity, dened by (kf + cpf t/T),
and T the turbulence Prandtl number, which is set to 1.0 for this
work. e (= f + C f f k2/) is the uid effective viscosity and t is
the turbulent viscosity, which are determined by a widely used standard k turbulence model [52]. The effect of gas turbulence on solid
phase is not considered, and this treatment has been tested as
acceptable for the current systems using a similar approach by
Kuang and Yu [53]. The volumetric particleuid interaction force

.
kv
Ffp in Eq. (6) can be determined as Ff p i1
f d;i f pg;i V . The


Table 2
Physical and geometrical parameters used in the simulations.a
Variables

Values

Bed width height, dp


Tube position, dp
Total CFD cells,
Cell size (x z), dp
Number of particles (N),
Tube diameter, dp
Particle diameter dp, mm
Particle density , kg/m3
Thermal conductivity of particles kp, W/(m K)
Thermal conductivity of tube kp, W/(m K)
Specic heat of particles cp, J/(kg K)
Specic heat of tube cp, J/(kg K)
Temperature of hot tube Ts, C
Particleparticle/wall sliding friction s,
Particleparticle/wall rolling friction r,
Restitution coefcient,
Particle Young's modulus E, kg/(m s2)
Particle Poisson ratio ,
Hamaker constant Ha, J
Fluid density f, kg/m3
Fluid molecular viscosity f, Pa s
Fluid thermal conductivity kf, W/(m K)
Fluid specic heat cpf, J/(kg K)

100 1280
Z = 50
50 640
22
30,000
40
0.1
1440
1.1
380
840.0
24.4
200
0.3
0.01
0.8
1 107
0.3
2.10 1021
PM/(RTf)
1.511 106Tf3/2/(Tf + 120.0)
2.873 103 + 7.760 105 Tf
1002.737 + 1.232 102 Tf

These are for the base case. Some parameters may vary in different cases, as specied
in the text or gure caption.

volumetric heat exchange rate Q in Eq. (7) can be determined as





kv
Q f ;i Q f ;wall Q f ;tube Q f ;rad =V , where Q f ;i is the conQ i1

vective heat exchange rate between uid and particle i; Q f ;tube is

the convective heat exchange rate between uid and tubes; Q f ;wall
is the convective heat exchange rate between uid and a wall; and

Q f ;rad is the radiative heat exchange rate between uid and its environment. In the present work, because of the low emissivity of
uid, the radiative heat transfer between uid and its environment
is ignored for simplicity.
2.3. CFDDEM coupling scheme
The methods of numerical solutions to problems requiring CFD
DEM coupling have been well established [19,20,54]. Heat transfer
models have also been incorporated into this approach as demonstrated
Table 3
Properties of three powders.
Parameter

dp, mm

H a, J

umf, m/s

0.1
0.1
0.5

2.10 1021
0
2.10 1021

0.0072
0.0072
0.15

Powder
A
A0
B

Please cite this article as: Q.F. Hou, et al., Gassolid ow and heat transfer in uidized beds with tubes: Effects of material properties and tube array
settings, Powder Technol. (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2015.03.028

Q.F. Hou et al. / Powder Technology xxx (2015) xxxxxx

Fig. 1. Selection of unit cells for different settings: (a) square and (b) triangular.

elsewhere [10,14,15]. The present work further extends this approach


to consider a tube array in a uidized bed. The coupling scheme used
here is the same as before, which is briey described as follows for completeness. At each time step, DEM will produce information such as the
positions, velocities, and temperature of individual particles, which will
be used for the evaluation of porosity, particleuid interaction force,
and heat exchange rate in a computational cell. CFD will then use this information to determine the uid ow and temperature eld, which in
turn can be used to nd particleuid interaction force and heat transfer
between uid and particles or tubes. Incorporation of the resulting
forces and heat exchange rates into DEM will produce information
about the motion and temperature of individual particles for the next
time step.
3. Simulation conditions
Table 2 lists the physical and geometrical parameters for the study of
the effect of material properties, unless otherwise specied. Three
powders of different types, namely A, A0 and B, are given in Table 3.

t=0s

(a)

2s

6s

2s

(b)

The number of particles is constant for all the cases in this work. It
should be noted that the van der Waals force is the only considered cohesive force. In principle, the Hamaker constant depends on many variables related to physical and chemical properties, such as the surface
roughness or asperity, medium chemistry. In the present study the
Hamaker constant of 2.10 1021 is adopted, which has been used in
our previous study to reasonably reproduce the behaviors of cohesive
particles [49]. Walls are assumed to have the same material properties
as the particles for convenience. Spherical particles at a temperature of
25 C are used as the initial solid phase uidized in a container with a
thickness of four particle diameter (dp). The periodic boundary condition is applied to the front and rear directions to eliminate the effect
of walls. To remove the effect of the side walls, the selected bed widths
should be sufcient as the side wall can only affect the ow up to 10dp
even in a rather dense particulate ow (see, for example, [55]). For
the above geometry, two-dimensional CFD and three-dimensional
DEM are used as done by Feng et al. [54]. This treatment should be reasonable, given that the bed width (100dp) is much larger than its thickness (4dp) and the tubes are set horizontally. For the CFD computation

6s

2s

6s

(c)

Fig. 2. Gassolid ow pattern in uidized beds for different powders when uf/umf = 5 and tube temperature Ts = 200 C: (a) Powder A, (b) Powder A0, and (c) Powder B. All particles are
shown, colored by their coordination number (CN). (For interpretation of the references to color in this gure legend, the reader is referred to the web version of this article.)

Please cite this article as: Q.F. Hou, et al., Gassolid ow and heat transfer in uidized beds with tubes: Effects of material properties and tube array
settings, Powder Technol. (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2015.03.028

Q.F. Hou et al. / Powder Technology xxx (2015) xxxxxx

Convection
Conduction

Powder A

Heat exchange rate (W)

0.1
0.0
0.2

Percentage of convective Percentage of conductive


heat exchange rate (%)
heat exchange rate (%)

0.2

Convection
Conduction

Powder A0

0.1
0.0
2.5 Powder B
2.0
1.5
1.0
0.5
0.0
2.0

Convection
Conduction

2.5

3.0

3.5

4.0

Time (s)

(a)

100
80

Powder A
Powder A0
Powder B

60
40
20
0
100
80
60

Powder A
Powder A0
Powder B

40
20
0
2.0

2.5

3.0

3.5

4.0

Time (s)

(b)

Fig. 3. Heat exchange rates between the uidized bed and the tube (a), and their percentage contributions to the total heat exchange for different powders (b).

two major treatments are adopted for the transfer of information between 2D CFD and 3D DEM. The rst treatment is used to obtain the
local porosities with only one control volume assumed in the thickness
direction. The particles in a given CFD cell are determined only by the
coordinates in the x and z directions. The second treatment is used for
the transfer of momentum and energy sources assuming that the
sources in the bed thickness direction are negligible. The non-slip
boundary condition is applied to the walls, and zero diffusion ux
condition to the outlet for ow and heat transfer.
To investigate the effect of tube array settings, particle diameter dp is
set to 0.6 mm with a numerically determined minimum uidization velocity (umf) of 0.36 m/s. The bed of 105 particles has a width of 160dp and
a height of 1,000dp. Tube diameter is 20dp. As the main aim of this part is
to examine the effect of tube array settings, all the cases are carried out
at a low tube temperature (Ts) of 200 C where radiative heat transfer is
negligible [14]. The inlet gas velocity is set to 3umf. Two types of tube
array settings are considered as shown in Fig. 1. One setting is square
(in-line) and the other is triangular (staggered). Two unit cells are chosen accordingly for analysis as shown in Fig. 1. It should be noted that
this treatment is reasonable, as shown in the present study that the interaction between neighboring tubes is insignicant if pitch length is
larger than 2.5D (here, D is tube diameter). The relative tube position
is quantied by two parameters: one is angle between the line joining
the centers of the tubes and the horizontal line in the cross-section of
the tubes, and the other is pitch length L. Angles of 30, 45 and 60 and
center-to-center pitch lengths in the range of 1.54D are adopted for
triangular settings.

A simulation is started with the generation of particles without any


overlap in the bed, followed by a gravitational settling process where
all the applicable interparticle forces are considered. This particle settling process continues until the rotational and translational velocities
of particles decrease to zero or a negligible value (b105 m/s for translational velocity). Then, the bed is used as a base for the simulation.
There are different designs for the introduction of gas into uidized
beds. In the present study, air with a pre-set temperature (25 C) is uniformly injected at the bottom to uidize the bed at a given velocity. The
container walls are assumed to be adiabatic for simplicity. The time step
in each case is constant, which is so chosen to ensure the accuracy of the
numerical simulation [56].
4. Results and discussion
A tube in uidized beds usually acts as a heat sink or source. The tube
temperature is higher than discrete solid and continuous gas phases in
the present study. The tube heats the particle bed by exchanging heat
rstly with its surroundings. Then, heat is transferred to the bed away
from the tube by different heat transfer mechanisms. Uniform distribution of temperatures within beds is desired in many applications such as
pharmaceutical and chemical processes. To achieve this, the effects of
material properties such as particle size and the Hamaker constant,
and the setting of a tube array are important. These effects are examined
in this section.

0.2

(a)

0.1

Heat exchange rate (W)

Contact number (-)

Porosity (-)

1.0

0.8

0.6

Powder A
Powder A0
Powder B
100

0.0
0.03
0.02
0.01
0.00
0.010

(b)
(c)

0.005
0.000

(d)

0.010
0.005

50

0.000
2.0

0
3.0

2.5

3.0

3.5

4.0

Time (s)
3.2

3.4

3.6

3.8

4.0

Time (s)
Fig. 4. Evolution of the local porosity and the contact number between particles and the
tube for different powders.

Fig. 5. Evolution of heat exchange rates by different conductive heat transfer mechanisms:
(a) particleuidtube under non-contact condition, (b) particleuidtube under
contact condition, (c) particletube with collisional contacts, and (d) particletube with
static (enduring) contacts.

Please cite this article as: Q.F. Hou, et al., Gassolid ow and heat transfer in uidized beds with tubes: Effects of material properties and tube array
settings, Powder Technol. (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2015.03.028

Q.F. Hou et al. / Powder Technology xxx (2015) xxxxxx

Table 4
Time-averaged percentage contributions of different heat transfer mechanisms.
Conditions

5 umf

Mechanisms

A0

A0

Conduction
Convection
Particleuidtube non-contact
Particleuidtube contact
Particletube collisional contact
Particletube static contact

94.4%
5.6%
91.7%
5.7%
0.5%
2.1%

94.2%
5.8%
91.7%
5.7%
0.5%
2.1%

20.1%
79.9%
91.7%
5.7%
0.5%
2.1%

83.4%
16.6%
93.6%
5.0%
0.3%
1.1%

83.2%
16.8%
93.7%
4.9%
0.3%
1.1%

8.7%
91.3%
91.8%
7.7%
0.3%
0.2%

10 umf

4.1. Effects of material properties and tube temperature on gassolid ow


and heat transfer
The horizontal tube has a signicant effect on gassolid ow characteristic as shown in Fig. 2 for Powders A, A0 and B. Deuidized solid cap
in the downstream and gas lm in the upstream is observed as general
transient features of uidization with a tube. Some differences between
these powders are observed. The uidization of Powder A0 (Fig. 2(b)) is
similar to that of Powder A (Fig. 2(a)). It should be noted that
the Hamaker constant used has been selected largely to match the
common observations [49]. The conditions used can provide a reasonable comparability for different powders in the uidized bed ow
regime at the same ratio of gas velocity to minimum uidization velocity (uf/umf = 5). For Powder B, a vigorously bubbling uidized bed is
observed, which is more expanded than the beds for Powders A and
A0. One possible reason for this observation is that the particleuid

t=0.02s

t=1s

t=2s

interaction force varies with particle size, and hence, different particleparticle contact conditions are generated [49]. It can also be
reected in particle coordination number (CN) and different sizes of
bubbles or large voids within the bubbling uidized beds at the same
ratio of uf/umf. These differences can generate different heat transfer
characteristics as observed in the cases of uidized beds without tubes
[15].
The tube exchanges heat with its surroundings mainly through
conduction with particles and convection to the gas ow at low temperatures [14,57]. Heat exchange rates through the two modes are uctuating temporally for different powders, as shown in Fig. 3(a). For Powders
A and A0, conductive heat transfer between the uidized bed and
the tube is dominant. But for Powder B, convective heat transfer is
dominant. These can be clearly observed in terms of the percentage contribution of heat exchange rates, as given in Fig. 3(b). For small particles,
the van der Waals force at the given Hamaker constant affects heat
transfer slightly. Only minor differences can be observed between Powders A and A0 in terms of the contributions of different heat transfer
modes. This is clearly shown in Table 5 in Section 4.2 from the timeaveraged percentage contributions of different heat transfer modes. It
should be noted that if the Hamaker constant is large enough, different
heat transfer characteristics can be observed as demonstrated in our
previous study [15].
These observations are related to the local porosity and the contacts
between particles and the tube. As shown in Fig. 4, the local porosity
around the tube for different powders has only minor differences except
that large uctuations are observed for Powder B. This also applies to
the contact number between particles and the tube. Smaller particles

t=3s

t=4s

t=5s

t=6s

Fig. 6. Solid ow pattern for Powder A when Ts = 600 C. All particles are shown, colored by their temperatures. (For interpretation of the references to color in this gure legend, the
reader is referred to the web version of this article.)

0.4
100

0.2

60
40
20

0.0
3.0

(a)

Conduction
Convection
Radiation

80

Percentage (%)

Heat exchange rate (W)

Conduction
Convection
Radiation

3.2

3.4
3.6
Time (s)

3.8

4.0

3.0

(b)

3.2

3.4

3.6

3.8

4.0

Time (s)

Fig. 7. Evolution of heat exchange rates and their percentage contributions at Ts = 600 C.

Please cite this article as: Q.F. Hou, et al., Gassolid ow and heat transfer in uidized beds with tubes: Effects of material properties and tube array
settings, Powder Technol. (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2015.03.028

Q.F. Hou et al. / Powder Technology xxx (2015) xxxxxx


Table 5
Time-averaged percentage contributions of different heat transfer modes at Ts = 600 C.
Conditions

5 umf

Mechanisms

A0

A0

Conduction
Convection
Radiation

41.9%
3.8%
54.3%

44.0%
3.5%
52.5%

10.5%
46.0%
43.5%

32.0%
5.7%
62.3%

32.7%
5.5%
61.8%

5.0%
51.7%
43.3%

10 umf

can enhance conductive heat transfer between the tube and the uidized bed due to their relatively larger total contact area at a given porosity [15]. The differences in ow behavior and contact conditions will
result in different heat transfer behaviors, as discussed in the following
sub-sections.
Conductive heat transfer between the tube and the uidized bed is
dominant for the small particles. The contributions of four different conductive heat transfer mechanisms to the total conductive heat transfer
are examined here. The evolution of different conductive heat exchange
rates is shown in Fig. 5. It can be observed that the heat transfer through
the tubeuidparticle path under non-contact condition is the largest
one. The second largest is the heat transfer through the path of tube
uidparticle under contact condition. These results are consistent
with those reported in the literature, where gas lm around the tube
plays an important role in heat transfer between an immersed surface
and a uidized bed [1]. Due to the short contact time and small solid
contact area, the conductive heat exchange rates through the particle
tube path are small. The contact time could vary with the velocities of
colliding particles and the gassolid ow. For an approximation of impact contact duration tc, Eq. (8) can be used, where m is the equivalent

t=0.1s

1s

mass, E is the equivalent elastic modulus, R is the equivalent radius, and


v is the normal impact velocity [58].
 2=5
5m
1=5
t c 2:94
Rv
4E

The contributions of different mechanisms vary for different powders as listed in Table 4. The contribution of each conductive heat transfer mechanism to the total conductive heat transfer is also quantied
(here 41xi = 100 % where xi is the contribution of conductive heat
transfer by mechanism i). For Powders A and A0, the conductive heat
transfer is dominant with its percentages around 90%. For Powder B,
the convective heat transfer is dominant with its percentage around
80%. With the increase of gas velocity, the contribution of convective
heat transfer increases and that of conductive heat transfer reduces.
One reason for this observation is the enhanced dilute gassolid ow
due to the increase of gas velocity. Although different powders have
different dominant heat transfer modes, the results indicate that heat
transfer through the particleuidtube path is dominant for conduction in all the cases studied. The contribution of heat exchange rate
through the particleuidtube path increases with the increase of
gas velocity while that through the particletube path decreases.
Heat transfer between a tube and a uidized bed by radiation becomes important at high temperatures [14,57]. The proposed model
can account for this factor. As an example, this work also investigates
the heat transfer at a high tube temperature (Ts) of 600 C for different
powders. As shown in Fig. 6, particles near the tube are rst heated, and
then these hot particles move into other parts of the bed, exchanging
heat with other cold particles. In this process, particle temperature

5s

6s

(a)

DoV

(b)

Fig. 8. Deviation of velocity (DoV) of all particles in uidized beds during heating process by a tube at Ts = 600 C and uf/umf = 10: (a) Powder A and (b) Powder B.

Please cite this article as: Q.F. Hou, et al., Gassolid ow and heat transfer in uidized beds with tubes: Effects of material properties and tube array
settings, Powder Technol. (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2015.03.028

Q.F. Hou et al. / Powder Technology xxx (2015) xxxxxx

t=0.1s

1s

5s

6s

(a)

DoT

(b)

Fig. 9. Deviation of temperature (DoT) of all particles in uidized beds during heating process by a tube at Ts = 600 C and uf/umf = 10: (a) Powder A and (b) Powder B.

under the current conditions while radiation plays an important role.


With the increase of gas velocity, the bed expands higher. The contribution of radiative heat transfer increases while that of conductive heat
transfer decreases for small particles (Powders A and A0). For large
particles (Powder B), minor variations of the contribution of radiative
and convective heat transfer are observed.
4.2. Effects of material properties and gas velocity on particle velocity and
temperature elds

1.0

1.0

0.8

0.8

0.6
0.4

0.1

0.0

(a)

0.6
0.4
0.2

DoT (-)

DoT (-)

0.2

2.82

The predictions for different powders are usually compared at the


same ratio of inlet gas velocity to their minimum uidization velocities.
Even under this condition, a large difference in particle velocity can be
observed for different powders. The particle temperature also varies
and shows non-uniformity. To quantify the variation of particle velocity
and temperature, two dimensionless parameters are dened. One
parameter is the deviation of velocity (DoV) from the mean velocity

DoV (-)

DoV (-)

distribution is not uniform, and areas with relatively high or low temperatures are observed.
The evolution of heat exchange rates at a high temperature and their
contributions are demonstrated in Fig. 7 for Ts = 600 C. At this temperature, the conductive heat exchange rate is the largest, the convective
one is the smallest, and the radiative one has an intermediate value
varying steadily. The conductive heat exchange rate uctuates with
values smaller than that of radiative heat transfer at some instants.
Their contributions to the total heat exchange rate by all heat transfer
modes are analyzed as shown in Fig. 7(b). The percentage contributions
uctuate and the radiative heat transfer has the largest value. Their contributions are compared quantitatively in terms of time-averaged values
in Table 5 for different powders and gas velocities at Ts = 600 C. It indicates that the radiative heat transfer is an important mode in all the
cases studied. For small particles, the contribution of radiation is larger
than that of conduction which is dominant at low temperatures. However, for large particles, the convective heat transfer is still dominant

2
Time (s)

0.1

0.0

(b)

2
Time (s)

Fig. 10. Evolution of bed averaged DoV and DoT of individual particles: (a) Powder A and (b) Powder B.

Please cite this article as: Q.F. Hou, et al., Gassolid ow and heat transfer in uidized beds with tubes: Effects of material properties and tube array
settings, Powder Technol. (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2015.03.028

Q.F. Hou et al. / Powder Technology xxx (2015) xxxxxx


Table 6
Bed averaged DoV and DoT under different conditions.
Conditions

5 umf

Index

A0

A0

0.129
0.129
0.033
0.006

0.126
0.125
0.031
0.006

0.232
0.235
0.016
2.86E4

0.125
0.127
0.019
1.74E3

0.121
0.127
0.022
2.01E3

0.239
0.245
8.49E3
1.10E4

Ts = 200 C
Ts = 600 C
Ts = 200 C
Ts = 600 C

DoV
DoV
DoT
DoT

10 umf

for individual particles, dened as |1 ui/bui N | where ui is the magnitude of particle velocity and b N is the average over all particles. The
other parameter is the deviation of temperature (DoT) from the mean
temperature, dened as |1 Ti/b Ti N |.
Heat transfer characteristics and the uniformity of particle temperature are closely related to the motion of particles. The deviation from the
mean velocity of individual particles is shown in Fig. 8 for Powders A
and B. The particles in the vicinity of the tube have large DoVs because
of the disturbance induced by the tube. The deviation diminishes in
other areas as a result of the momentum exchange between particles.
Large DoVs of small particles are often observed in the middle of the uidized bed; conversely, DoVs are large near the walls for large particles.
The deviation from the mean temperature of individual particles is
shown in Fig. 9 for Powders A and B, under the conditions corresponding to those of Fig. 8. Compared to DoV, DoT is rather small as a result
of high heat transfer capability of uidized beds. However, a spatial
distribution of DoT can still be observed. A large DoT occurs in the
vicinity of the tube due to heat exchange between the bed and the
tube. This indicates the possibility of observing hot spots with nonuniform particle temperatures in the bed.
To quantify the uniformity of particle velocities and temperatures at
a bed scale, the bed averaged DoV and DoT of individual particles
are shown in Fig. 10 for Powders A and B. It can be seen that the bed
averaged DoV decreases rather quickly to a small value while the bed
averaged DoT takes a longer time. The values vary for different powders.
To show the effect of material properties on DoV and DoT, the timeaveraged values are listed in Table 6. The time-average is carried out
within a xed time frame (06 s) in which period DoV and DoT decrease
to rather small values. It is found that a time-average with a longer time
will give a smaller value because the negligible small values after 6 s are

t=0 s

t=0.4 s

included. Here, macroscopically steady states are assumed when the


small values are achieved. It should be noted that even in the macroscopically steady state, the results may uctuate slightly, if different
instants are used.
The effects of gas velocity, tube temperature and material properties
on DoV and DoT are also examined, as discussed below. It can be seen
from Table 6 that gas velocity has a negligible effect on DoV for different
powders while DoT decreases with the increase of gas velocity. Tube
temperature affects DoV insignicantly, and DoT becomes smaller at a
higher tube temperature. Material properties affect DoT and DoV in a
more complicated manner. Larger particles have larger DoV and smaller
DoT. The cohesive force has little effect on DoV and DoT under the
current conditions. It can be seen from these results that DoT can be
reduced if a large gas velocity or a large particle size is used, giving a
more uniform temperature eld.
4.3. Effect of tube array settings on gassolid ow and heat transfer
Fig. 11(a) shows the snapshots of gassolid ow pattern in uidized
beds with a tube array. The main features of gassolid ow in a uidized
bed with multiple tubes can be observed: solid cap in the downstream
of the tubes and air lm upstream, consistent with the results of the previous studies [14,59]. The particles are colored by their identity number,
indicating the mixing of particles. For the powders studied, good mixing
is achieved within a short period, which is one of the advantages of uidized beds. Fig. 11(b) shows the gassolid ow pattern with different
tube array settings determined by angle . The solid cap and air lm
for different tubes change with as a result of the variation of the
wake of the gassolid ow downstream. The differences are reected
in heat exchange rates related to local porosity and contact number, as
demonstrated in the following discussion. The results in Fig. 11 verify
the capability of the current method to study gassolid ow in uidized
beds with a tube array and provide a sound basis for heat transfer
analysis.
Particles and gas both can exchange heat with the tubes. Heat
transfer between each tube and the uidized bed is considered in the
simulations. For simplicity, Fig. 12 gives the evolution of the total and
conductive heat exchange rates of two representative tubes (#1 and
#2 as indicated in the inset in Fig. 12(a)); both tubes show large uctuations in the heat exchange rates. The differences observed are mainly

t=0.8 s

t=1.6 s

t=6.0 s

(a)

(b)
Fig. 11. Gassolid ow patterns in uidized beds with a tube array: (a) for different times when = 45 and (b) for different settings when t = 6.0 s. The settings include a square one
( = 0) and three triangular ones ( = 30, 45, and 60) from the left to right. All particles in each case are shown.

Please cite this article as: Q.F. Hou, et al., Gassolid ow and heat transfer in uidized beds with tubes: Effects of material properties and tube array
settings, Powder Technol. (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2015.03.028

10

Q.F. Hou et al. / Powder Technology xxx (2015) xxxxxx

Total heat exchange rate (W)

Conductive heat exchange rate (W)

1.0

2.0

#1

Tube #1
Tube #2

#2

1.5

1.0

0.5

0.0
2.0

2.5

3.0

(a)

3.5

(b)

100

0.6

0.4

0.2

2.5

3.0

3.5

4.0

Time (s)

Tube #1
Tube #2

80

Percentage (%)

0.8

0.0
2.0

4.0

Time (s)

Tube #1
Tube #2

60
40
20
0
2.0

2.5

3.0

(c)

3.5

4.0

Time (s)

Fig. 12. Evolution of heat exchange rates for two representative tubes in a uidized bed: (a) total heat exchange rate, (b) conductive heat exchange rate, and (c) percentage of conductive
heat exchange rate to the total. The positions of two representative tubes (#1 and #2) are illustrated in the inset in (a). The square setting for this case has a pitch length of 1.5D.

due to the change of gassolid ow around the tubes in the uidized


bed. The results indicate that conductive heat transfer between the
tube and the uidized bed has a large contribution to the total heat
transfer in the present system, different from our previous study
where different settings for the ratio of bed width to tube diameter
and tube temperature are used [14]. It should be noted that the relative
importance of different heat transfer modes may vary with operating
conditions and geometrical settings. Some of them have been investigated by the combined CFDDEM approach previously [14,15]. Because
of contradictory views about the effect of tube array settings in the
literature, there is a need for a more systematic study of the effect of

1.0

Tube #1
Tube #2

0.9

75

Local porosity (-)

Contact number (-)

100

geometrical settings on heat transfer. This work addresses this need


by a detailed analysis of the heat transfer between the uidized bed
and the tube (#2) located in the center of the selected unit cell, as
given below.
The contact number and local porosity around a given tube can be
obtained for understanding the variation of heat exchange rates. The
conductive heat exchange rate is closely related to the contact number
between uidized particles and a tube. As shown in Fig. 13(a) for the
two representative tubes, the contact numbers vary temporally with
different trends. Local porosity obtained for an annular region of 5dp
thickness in the radial direction of a given tube [14] varies vigorously

50

25

0.8
0.7
0.6

Tube #1
Tube #2

0.5
0

(a)

2.0

2.5

3.0

Time (s)

3.5

4.0

0.4
2.0

(b)

2.5

3.0

3.5

4.0

Time (s)

Fig. 13. Evolution of: (a) the contact numbers between two representative tubes and uidized particles and (b) local porosity. The square setting for this case has a pitch length of 1.5D.

Please cite this article as: Q.F. Hou, et al., Gassolid ow and heat transfer in uidized beds with tubes: Effects of material properties and tube array
settings, Powder Technol. (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2015.03.028

Q.F. Hou et al. / Powder Technology xxx (2015) xxxxxx

11

Fig. 14. Heat exchange rates as a function of pitch length and angle: (a) convection, (b) conduction, and (c) total.

as shown in Fig. 13(b). The time-averaged values of the contact number


and local porosity can be obtained accordingly.
The setting of a tube array is an important factor affecting the capability of heat transfer between the tube array and uidized beds. Here,
the effects of two geometrical parameters are examined: pitch length
(L) and angle (), as illustrated in Fig. 1(b).
Heat exchange rates vary with the increase of pitch in a complicated
manner (Fig. 14). For the square setting (in-line, = 0), the total and
convective heat exchange rates decrease gradually. The conductive
heat exchange rate varies complicatedly. It decreases rst, and then increases slightly from a pitch length of 2D, and nally decreases slightly
from a pitch length of 3D. These observations are consistent with the
change of contact number and local porosity shown in Fig. 15. For the
triangular (staggered) settings, complex variations are also observed.
Some turning points are observed at different pitch lengths at different
angles. With the increase of pitch length, the uctuation becomes weaker. It is observed that the uctuation becomes insignicant when the
horizontal or vertical pitch is larger than 2.5D, which is slightly different

from a previous study [31]. The reason could be that if the pitch length is
larger than 2.5D, the effect of neighboring tubes becomes insignicant,
and hence the heat transfer between the uidized bed and the tube
considered is mainly determined by the surrounding gassolid ow
and takes place without much variation.
Heat exchange rates vary with angle in a complicated manner at
different pitch lengths as shown in Fig. 14. Generally, total heat
exchange rate decreases with the increase of . The convective heat
exchange rate shows a similar trend to that of the total heat exchange
rate. The conductive heat exchange rate varies complicatedly for
different pitch lengths, as discussed below. It can be seen that the conductive heat exchange rate plays a role as important as the convective
heat exchange rate for the system considered.
Heat exchange rates vary differently with in a certain range of
pitch lengths. For convenience, the pitch length is classied into three
categories according to the variation of conductive heat exchange
rate: small (1.5 and 2D), intermediate (2.5 and 3D), and large (3.5 and
4D). For the small pitch range, the conductive heat exchange rate

Fig. 15. Contact number (a) and local porosity (b) as a function of pitch length and angle.

Please cite this article as: Q.F. Hou, et al., Gassolid ow and heat transfer in uidized beds with tubes: Effects of material properties and tube array
settings, Powder Technol. (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2015.03.028

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Q.F. Hou et al. / Powder Technology xxx (2015) xxxxxx

increases rst, and then decreases with the increase of . The turning
points vary with the pitch length. The convective heat exchange rate reduces consistently with the increase of . As the sum of conductive and
convective heat exchange rates, the total heat exchange rate decreases
consistently for a pitch length of 1.5D or increases a little rst and
then decreases for a pitch length of 2D with the increase of . For the intermediate range, the convective heat exchange rate decreases consistently while the conductive heat exchange rate decreases rst and
then increases slightly with the increase of . The total heat exchange
rate decreases rst and then becomes constant for a pitch length of
2.5D, or decreases consistently for a pitch length of 3D. In the large
pitch range, variations in all heat exchange rates are insignicant.
The change of heat exchange rates can be understood from the
microscopic information such as contact number and local porosity.
Contact numbers under various conditions are shown in Fig. 15(a),
indicating consistent variations with the change of conductive heat
exchange rate shown in Fig. 14(b). Conductive heat transfer occurs
when particles are in direct contact with or close enough to a given
tube according to the heat transfer mechanisms discussed. Hence, as
expected, a connection between conductive heat exchange rate and
contact number is observed, although other factors such as colliding velocity and contact time could affect the conductive heat transfer. Based
on the predictions, contact number can be considered as a main index
determining the conductive heat exchange rate for the system investigated. The time-averaged local porosity (Fig. 15(b)) is closely related
to the convective heat transfer. However, only small change is observed
at a given inlet gas velocity, which is consistent with the variation of
corresponding convective heat exchange rate. Such information may
be helpful for the design and optimization of tube arrays for heat
transfer in uidized beds.
5. Conclusions
The combined CFDDEM approach with heat transfer models incorporated is used to investigate the effects of material properties and
geometrical settings on gassolid ow and heat transfer characteristics
in uidized beds with tubes. The following conclusions can be drawn
from the present study:
The convective heat transfer is dominant for large, non-cohesive
particles while the conductive heat transfer is dominant for small, cohesive particles at low temperatures, when the radiative heat transfer
is negligible. Heat exchange rate through the particleuidtube path
under non-contact condition is dominant of the conductive heat
transfer mode. Radiative heat transfer becomes important at high
temperatures (higher than ~ 600 C). Radiative heat transfer can be
dominant for small particles under certain conditions.
The effect of material properties on the uniformity of particle velocities
and temperatures is signicant. Large particles have a low uniformity
of particle velocities but high uniformity of particle temperatures. For
a given Hamaker constant, the cohesive force affects both the velocity
and temperature elds insignicantly. Material properties and operating conditions should be selected carefully by considering the uniformity of particle velocities and temperature elds.
The effect of gas velocity on the uniformity of particle velocities and
temperatures is complicated. On one hand, gas velocity has little effect
on the uniformity of particle velocities. On the other hand, a large gas
velocity can improve the uniformity of particle temperatures. A high
tube temperature can also result in a high uniformity of particle
temperatures.
The effect of tube array setting is complicated as reected in the changes in the gassolid ow characteristics and heat exchange rates. It can
be related to microscopic information such as the local porosity, and
contact number between particles and a given tube. Conductive heat
exchange rate is closely related to the contact number while convective
rate is closely related to the local porosity.

It is considered that the results are useful for better understanding of


the coupled ow and heat transfer in a uidized bed. More importantly,
they demonstrate the capability of particle scale study in this direction,
although further developments are needed in order to produce results
that can directly help the design and optimization of industrial uidized
processes of different types. Generally uidized bed reactors might be
classied into continuous or batch operation according to the methods
to load solids. The continuous operation possesses many advantages
such as continuous operation. The batch operation might be selected
to match the upstream and downstream processes or to meet special requirements of nal products. In the present study, the settings are for
batch operation with a constant number of particles in the system.
The transient heat transfer and mixing from the startup to the steady
state are investigated. The ndings from the batch operation might be
applied to continuous operation, subjected to further verication and
study.

Acknowledgments
The authors are grateful to the Australian Research Council
(FF0883231) for the nancial support. This work was supported by an
award under the Merit Allocation Scheme on the NCI National Facility
at the ANU.

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settings, Powder Technol. (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2015.03.028

Q.F. Hou et al. / Powder Technology xxx (2015) xxxxxx


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Please cite this article as: Q.F. Hou, et al., Gassolid ow and heat transfer in uidized beds with tubes: Effects of material properties and tube array
settings, Powder Technol. (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2015.03.028