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CHE4162 TUTORIAL 4 - SOLUTIONS

Fluidisation (Chapter 7)
EXERCISE 7.1:
A packed bed of solid particles of density 2500 kg/m3, occupies a depth of 1 m in
a vessel of cross-sectional area 0.04 m2. The mass of solids in the bed is 50 kg and
the surface-volume mean diameter of the particles is 1 mm. A liquid of density
800 kg/m3 and viscosity 0.002 Pas flows upwards through the bed.
(a) Calculate the voidage (volume fraction occupied by voids) of the bed.
(b) Calculate the pressure drop across the bed when the volume flow rate of
liquid is 1.44 m3/h.
(c) Calculate the pressure drop across the bed when it becomes fluidized.
SOLUTION TO EXERCISE 7.1:
(a) Bed voidage (volume fraction occupied by the voids) is calculated from Equation
7.24:
mass of solids in the bed, M 1 pAH
Hence, voidage, 1

50
0.5
2500 0.04 1

(b) Pressure drop across the bed when the flow rate is 1.44 m3/h:
Assume firstly that the bed is not fluidized at this flow rate. Estimate the pressure
drop from the Ergun Equation (Equation 7.3):

(p)
(1 )2 U
(1 ) f U 2
150
2 1.75
H
3 xsv
3 xsv
Superficial liquid velocity, U =

1.44
0.01 m / s
0.04 3600

Hence, p 6560 Pa

CHE4162 Tutorial 4 SOLUTIONS: FLUIDIZATION

Page 7.1

(c) Check if the bed is fluidized: When fluidized, the apparent weight of the bed will
be supported by the pressure difference. Hence (Equation 7.2),

p H(1 )(p f )g

p 1.0 (1 0.5) 2500 800 9.81 8338.5 Pa.

So the assumption in part (b) is correct and the answer to part (c) is 8338.5 Pa.
EXERCISE 7.2:
130 kg of uniform spherical particles with a diameter of 50 m and particle
density 1500 kg/m3 are fluidized by water (density 1000 kg/m3, viscosity 0.001
Pas.) in a circular bed of cross-sectional area 0.2 m2. The single particle terminal
velocity of the particles is 0.68 mm/s and the voidage at incipient fluidization is
known to be 0.47.
(a) Calculate the bed height at incipient fluidization.
(b) Calculate the mean bed voidage when the liquid flow rate is 2 x 10-5 m3/s.
SOLUTION TO EXERCISE 7.2:
(a) Bed height at incipient fluidization.
From equation 7.24: mass of solids in the bed, M 1 mf p AHmf
Therefore, with M = 130 kg, mf = 0.47, p = 1500 kg/m3 and A = 0.2 m2,
H mf

130
0.818 m
0.2 (1 0.47) 1500

Bed height at incipient fluidization, Hmf = 0.818 m.

(b) Bed height when liquid flow rate is 2 x 10-5 m3/s:
Use Richardson-Zaki equation (Equation 7.21), U UTn
To determine exponent n, calculate single particle Reynolds number, Rep at U=UT:

Rep

U Tf x (0.68103 ) 1000(50106 )

0.001

Page 7.2

= 0.034, which is less than 0.3. Hence, n = 4.65 (Equation 7.22)

Hence, applying the Richardson-Zaki equation, 1104 (0.68103)4.65
which gives, = 0.6622
hence, bed voidage at a liquid flow rate of 2 x 10-5 m3/s is = 0.6622
EXERCISE 7.5:
12 kg of spherical resin particles of density 1200 kg/m3 and uniform diameter 70
m are fluidized by water (density 1000 kg/m3 and viscosity 0.001 Pas.) in a
vessel of diameter 0.3 m and form an expanded bed of height 0.25 m.
(a) Calculate the difference in pressure between the base and the top of the bed.
(b) If the flow rate of water is increased to 7 cm3/s, what will be the resultant bed
height and bed voidage (liquid volume fraction)?
State and justify the major assumptions.
SOLUTION TO EXERCISE 7.5:
(a) The frictional pressure loss is given by the force balance over the fluidized bed

pA weight upthrust Mg M f g Mg 1 f
p
p

1000
12 1
9.81
1200
Hence, p
277.5 Pa.
2
(0.3)
4
Frictional pressure drop (-p) = 277.5 Pa.
However, the measured pressure drop across the bed will include the hydrostatic head
of the liquid in the bed. Applying the mechanical energy equation between the bottom
(1) and the top (2) of the fluidized bed:
p1 p 2 U12 U22
277.5

(z1 z 2 ) friction head los s =

f g
2g
f g

U1 = U2; z1 - z2 = - H = - 0.25 m.
Hence, p1 - p2 = 2730 Pa.
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Page 7.3

Difference in pressure between the base and the top of the bed = 2730 Pa.
(b) Calculate bed height and mean bed voidage at a flow rate of 7 cm3/s.
Apply Richardson-Zaki equation (Equation 7.21), U UTn

volume flow rate

7 106
5

2 9.9 10 m / s
cross sectionalarea
0.3
4
To determine the single particle terminal velocity, UT, assume Stokes Law (Equation
Superficial liquid velocity, U =

1.13)

x2 g p f
UT
18

with x = 70 m, p = 1200 kg/m3, pf = 1000 kg/m3 and = 0.001 Pa.s,

UT = 5.34 x 10-4 m/s.
To determine exponent n, calculate single particle Reynolds number Rep at U=UT.

U Tf x (5.34 104 ) 1000 (70 106 )

Rep

0.001
= 0.037, which is less than 0.3. Hence, n = 4.65 (Equation 7.22)
Hence, applying the Richardson-Zaki equation, 9.9105 (5.34104 )4.65
gives, = 0.696
From Equation 5.24, mass of solids in the bed, M 1 pAH
Hence, bed height, H

12
0.32

1200 (1 0.696)
4

0.465 m.

Page 7.4

EXERCISE 7.8: By applying a force balance, calculate the incipient fluidizing

velocity for a system with particles of particle density 5000 kg/m3 and mean
volume diameter 100m and a fluid of density 1.2 kg/m3 and viscosity 1.8 x 10-5
Pas. Assume that the voidage at incipient fluidization is 0.5.
If in the above example the particle size is changed to 2mm, what is Umf?
SOLUTION TO EXERCISE 7.8:
Force balance on bed. Apply Equation 7.2:

p H(1 )(p f )g

p
H

(1 0.5) 5000 1.2 9.81 24519 P a.

With such small particles in liquid we can assume laminar flow through the bed and
so apply only the laminar component of the Ergun equation.

(p)
(1 )2
Hence,
150
H
3

U
x 2sv

With p 24519Pa = 1.8 x 10-5 Pa.s; f = 1.2 kg/m3;

xsv = 100 x 10-6 m, and given that the voidage of the bed at minimum fluidization is
voidage, = 0.5, then
U = Umf = 0.0454 m/s
Check Reynolds number for use of laminar flow in packed bed.
U x
Re mf f sv 0.6 , which is less than 10, the nominal upper limit for laminar
1
flow. Hence the assumption of laminar flow is justified and Umf = 4.54 cm/s.
For a particle size of 2 mm:
Flow is unlikely to be fully laminar, so we will use the full Ergun equation:
(p)
(1 )2 U
(1 ) f U 2
150
1.75
2
H
3 xsv
3 xsv
From the force balance,
p
(1 0.5) 5000 1.2 9.81 24519 P a.
H

Page 7.5

Hence, with p H 24519Pa / m = 1.8 x 10-5 Pa.s; f = 1.2 kg/m3;

xsv = 2 x 10-3 m, and given that the voidage of the bed at minimum fluidization is
voidage, = 0.5, then
24519 1350Umf 4200U2mf

Solving, gives Umf = 2.26 m/s

EXERCISE 7.9: A powder of mean sieve size 60 m and particle density 1800
kg/m3 is fluidized by air of density 1.2 kg/m3 and viscosity 1.84 x 10-5 Pas in a
circular vessel of diameter 0.5 m. The mass of powder charged to the bed is 240
kg and the volume flowrate of air to the bed is 140 m3/hr. It is known that the
average bed voidage at incipient fluidization is 0.45 and correlation reveals that
the average bubble rise velocity under the conditions in question is 0.8 m/s.
Estimate:
(a) the minimum fluidization velocity, Umf
(b) the bed height at incipient fluidization
(c) the visible bubble flowrate
(d) the bubble fraction
(e) the particulate phase voidage
(f) the mean bed height
(g) the mean bed voidage
SOLUTION TO EXERCISE 7.9:
(a) Minimum fluidization velocity, Umf:
Using the Ergun equation with a voidage of 0.45 at incipient fluidization (given in
question):

(p)
(1 )2 U
(1 ) f U 2
150
2 1.75
H
3 xsv
3 xsv
From the force balance,
p
(1 0.45) 1800 1.2 9.81 9705.4 P a / m.
H
Hence, with p 9705.4 Pa = 1.84 x 10-5 Pa.s; f = 1.2 kg/m3;
xsv = 60 x 10-6 m, and given that the voidage, = 0.45, then:
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Page 7.6

Solving, gives Umf = 3.8 x 10-3 m/s

Using the Wen and Yu correlation gives Umf = 2.13 x 10-3 m/s.
However, for gas fluidization the Wen and Yu correlation is often taken as being most
suitable for particles larger than 100 m, whereas the correlation of Baeyens, shown
in Equation 7.11, is best for particles less than 100 m.
U mf

( p f ) 0.934 g 0.934 x1p.8

1110 0.87 0f .066

(7.11)

(1800 1.2)0.9349.810.934(60 106 )1.8

1110(1.84 105 )0.87 (1.2)0.066
Umf = 2.73 x 10-3 m/s
U mf

(b) Bed height at incipient fluidization:

Applying Equation 7.24, with voidage at Umf = 0.45,
mass of solids in the bed, M 1 mf p AHmf

D2 (0.5)2

0.1963 m 2
4
4
hence, 240 1 0.45 1800 0.1963 Hmf
Bed cross-sectional area, A
and so Hmf = 1.235 m
(c) Visible bubble flow rate:
From the two-phase theory, QB U Umf A
Superficial gas velocity, U

Q 140
1

= 0.198 m/s

A 3600 0.1963

3
hence, QB 0.198 0.0038 0.1963 0.0381 m / s

(d) Bubble fraction:

QB
From the Two-Phase theory, bubble fraction, B
, where UB is the mean
AUB
bubble rise velocity, given in the question as 0.8 m/s.
This gives, bubble fraction = 0.245.

Page 7.7

(e) Particulate phase voidage:

The Two-Phase theory assumes that the gas flow through the particulate phase is that
equivalent to the flow at incipient fluidization. We may assume therefore that the
vodage of the particulate phase is the same as the bed voidage at incipient fluidization,
mf. Hence particulate phase voidage = 0.45.
(f) Mean bed height:
From the Two-Phase theory, one expression for bubble fraction (Equation 7.28) is:
H Hm f
, where H is the mean bed height.
B
H
With B = 0.245 and Hmf = 1.235 m, mean bed height, H = 1.636 m.
(g) Mean bed voidage:
From Equation 7.24, mass of solids in the bed, M 1 pAH
240
Hence, voidage, 1
0.5848
1800 0.19631.636
Mean bed voidage = 0.5848.

CHE4162 Tutorial 4 SOLUTIONS: FLUIDIZATION

Page 7.8

EXERCISE 7.11:
A powder having a particle density of 1800 kg/m3 and the following size
distribution
size range number (i)

mass fraction in feed

20 - 40

0.10

40 - 60

0.35

60 - 80

0.40

80 - 100

0.15

is fed into a fluidized bed 2m in diameter at a rate of 0.2 kg/s. The cyclone inlet is
4m above the distributor and the mass of solids in the bed is held constant at
4000 kg by withdrawing solids continuously from the bed. The bed is fluidized
using dry air at 700 K (density 0.504 kg/m3 and viscosity 3.33 x 10-5 Pas) giving a
superficial gas velocity of 0.3 m/s. Under these conditions the mean bed voidage
is 0.55 and the mean bubble size at the bed surface is 5 cm. For this powder,
under these conditions, Umf = 0.155 cm/s and Umb = 0.447 m/s.
Assuming that none of the entrained solids are returned to the bed, estimate
(a) the flow rate and size distribution of the entrained solids entering the cyclone
(b) the equilibrium size distribution of solids in the bed
(d) the rate at which solids are withdrawn from the bed.
SOLUTION TO EXERCISE 7.11:
(a) The flow rate and size distribution of the entrained solids entering the cyclone
First estimate the transport disengagement height, TDH:
From the Horio correlation (Equation 7.37),
0.5
0.5
TDH = 4.47d Bvs 4.47 0.05 1.0 m.
The graphical method of Zenz (Figure 7.12) gives TDH = 0.25 m.
U - Umb = 0.145 m/s = 0.476 ft/s
db = 0.05 m = 1.97 inches (for safety, take db = 3 inches)
TDH = 10 inches = 0.254 m.

Page 7.9

From Equation 7.24, mass of solids in the bed, MB 1 pAH

Hence, given = 0.55, p = 1800 kg/m3, MB = 4000 kg and vessel cross-sectional
2 2
area A
3.142 m 2 :
4
4000
1.57 m.
Applying Equation 7.24, bed height, H
1800 1 0.55 3.142
Since the cyclone entrance is 4 metres above the distributor and the "worst case"
estimate of TDH is 1m, then the cyclone entrance may be considered to be above
*
TDH. Hence we may use K i values to estimate carryover.
Now calculate the elutriation rate constants for the four size ranges under these
conditions from the Zenz and Weil correlation (Equation 7.46). The value of particle
size x used in the correlation is the arithmetic mean of each size range:
x1 = 30 x 10-6 m; x2 = 50 x 10-6 m; x3 = 70 x 10-6 m; x4 = 90 x 10-6 m
With U = 0.30 m/s, p = 1800 kg/m3 and f = 0.504 kg/m3
*
2
K1 5.1610 kg/m2s;
*
2
K2 1.97510 kg/m2s;
K*3 1.049 102 kg/m2s;
*

K4 6.5410

kg/m2s

The overall and component material balances over the fluidized bed system are:
Overall balance:

F=Q+R

Component balance: FmFi QmQi RmRi

(7.11.1)
(7.11.2)

where F, Q and R are the mass flowrates of solids in the feed, withdrawal and filter
discharge respectively and mFi, mQi and mRi are the mass fractions of solids in size
range i in the feed, withdrawal and filter discharge respectively.

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Page 7.10

From Equation 7.39 the entrainment rate of size range i at the gas exit from the
freeboard is given by:
Ri = RmRi K*iAmBi
and R

R i RmRi

(7.11.3)
(7.11.4)

Combining these equations with the assumption that the bed is well mixed (mQi =
mBi),
Fm Fi
mB i
(7.11.5)
F R K*i A
Now both mBi and R are unknown. However, noting that

mBi 1 , we have:

0.2 0.1
0.2 0.35

2
0.2 R (5.1610 3.142) 0.2 R (1.975102 3.142)
0.2 0.40
0.2 0.15

1.0
0.2 R (1.049102 3.142) 0.2 R (6.54103 3.142)
Solving for R by trial and error, R = 0.0485 kg/s

Page 7.11

(b) Substituting R = 0.0485 kg/s in Equation 7.11.5,

mB1 = 0.0638; mB2 = 0.328; mB3 = 0.433 and mB4 = 0.174
Therefore size distribution of bed:
size range number (i)

mass fraction in bed

20 - 40

0.0638

40 - 60

0.328

60 - 80

0.433

80 - 100

0.174

(c) From Equation 7.11.3, knowing R and mBi, we can calculate mRi:

mR1

* Am
2
K1
B1 5.16 10 3.142 0.0638 0.213
R
0.0485

similarly, mR2 = 0.420; mR3 = 0.294; mR4 = 0.074

Therefore size distribution of solids entering filter:
size range number (i)

mass fraction entering filter

20 - 40

0.213

40 - 60

0.420

60 - 80

0.294

80 - 100

0.074

(d) From Equation 7.11.1, the rate of withdrawal of solids from the bed,
Q = 0.152 kg/s
mas s flow of solids R
0.0485
3

0.0515 kg / m
volume flow of gas UA 0.3 3.142

CHE4162 Tutorial 4 SOLUTIONS: FLUIDIZATION

Page 7.12

EXERCISE 7.12:
A gas phase catalytic reaction is performed in a fluidized bed operating at a
superficial gas velocity equivalent to 10xUmf. For this reaction under these
conditions it is known that the reaction is first order in reactant A. Given the
following information,
kHmf(1-p)/U = 100;

K CH
= 1.0, use the reactor model of Orcutt et al. to
UB

determine:
(a) the conversion of reactant A,
(b) the effect on the conversion found in (a) of doubling the inventory of catalyst
(c) the effect on the conversion found in part (a) of halving the bubble size by
using suitable baffles (assuming the interphase mass transfer coefficient is
inversely proportional to the bubble diameter)
If the reaction rate were two orders of magnitude smaller, comment on the
wisdom of installing baffles in the bed with a view to improving conversion.
SOLUTION TO EXERCISE 7.12:
(a) From section 7.9 the model of Orcutt et al. gives for a first order reaction:
Conversion, 1 CH 1 e
C0

where,

1 e
1
1 e
U
2

kH mf

(7.65)

K CH
and = (U - Umf)/U
UB

From the information given in the question,

kHmf(1-p)/U = 100;

K CH
U
10
= 1.0 and
UB
U mf

Hence, = 0.9
So, from Equation 7.65, conversion = 0.6645 [i.e. 66.45% conversion of reactant A].
(b) If the inventory of catalyst in the bed is doubled, both the operating bed height H
and the height at incipient fluidization Hmf are doubled. Thus, assuming all else
remains constant, under the new conditions = 2.0, = 0.9 and kHmf(1-p)/U = 200
and so the new conversion = 0.8744
[i.e. 87.44% conversion; increasing from 66.45%]
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Page 7.13

(c) If the bubble size is halved (compared with the base case in (a) and KC is inversely
proportional to bubble diameter, then KC increases by a factor of 2, causing to
increase by a factor of 2. Hence
Giving conversion = 0.8706 [i.e. 87.06% conversion of reactant A, compared with
66.45% in case (a)]
(d) If the reaction rate were two orders of magnitude smaller:
then kHmf(1-p)/U = 1. So, for the conditions in part (a):
conversion = 0.4 [i.e. 40% conversion of reactant A]
If we introduce baffles causing the bubble size to halve, then KC will double,
giving = 2.0.
hence, 1e 0.8782 and so conversion = 0.468 [i.e. 46.8% conversion of A
compared with 40% without baffles]
So at low reaction rate, the introduction of baffles to reduce bubble size and improve
interphase mass transfer, has a much smaller effect than at high reaction rates. This is
because at low reaction rates it is the reaction rate which is controlling the conversion,
whereas at high reaction rates it is the interphase mass transfer which controls the
conversion.

Page 7.14