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Pressure Drop and Heat Transfer

Characteristics of Fluidized Bed



Amit Jaryal (1508045) Er. Rupinder Kaur
Anmolpreet Singh(1508048)
Arashdeep Singh (1508050)
Arshdeep Singh Gahir (1508053)
Ashish Sharma (1508056)
When the packed bed has a fluid passed over it, the pressure drop of the fluid is approximately
proportional to the fluid's superficial velocity. In order to transition from a packed bed to a
fluidised condition, the gas velocity is continually raised. For a free-standing bed there will
exist a point, known as the minimum or incipient fluidisation point, whereby the bed's mass is
suspended directly by the flow of the fluid stream. The corresponding fluid velocity, known as
the "minimum fluidisation velocity. Beyond the minimum fluidisation velocity , the bed
material will be suspended by the gas-stream and further increases in the velocity will have a
reduced effect on the pressure, owing to sufficient percolation of the gas flow. Thus the
pressure drop for is relatively constant. At the base of the vessel the apparent pressure drop
multiplied by the cross-section area of the bed can be equated to the force of the weight of the
solid particles (less the buoyancy of the solid in the fluid).
A knowledge of the heart transfer characteristics of fluidized beds is important for the design
of industrial equipment. The purpose of work reported in this paper was to determine the effect
of pressure of the violently turbulent solids on heat transfer conditions at surfaces in contact
with gas-solid mixture. The experimental work was carried out in the vertical fluidised beds , 1
to 4 inches in diameter and 4 to 8 feet high. Heat was transferred to fluidised beds either
through the wall of the cylindrical heating element, inserted axially into the bed. The fluidised
mixture considered of glass spheres with diameters ranging from 0.002 to 0.02 inch suspended
in an upward flowing system of air at superficial velocities varying between 0.8 and 16 feet per
second. Generally there was little transport of solid , but an considerable amount of solid was
recycled from an expanded section at the top of fluidised column , but considerably amount of
solid was recycled from an expanded section at top of the fluidised system ranged from zero to
values around three quarters of the bulk density of glass spheres. Heat transfer coefficients from
10 to 20 b.t.u per square feet per degree Fahrenheit were obtained.

The authors are highly grateful to the Director, Guru Nanak Dev Engineering
College, Ludhiana, for providing the opportunity to carry out the project work.

The constant guidance and encouragement received from Dr. Paramjit singh Bilga
, Head of Deptartment of Mechanical engineering, has been of great help in
carrying out the present work and is acknowledged with reverential thanks.

The authors would like to express a deep sense, of gratitude and thanks to
Er.Rupinder Kaur, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering,
GNDEC, who was our project guide without her wise counsel and able guidance,
it would have been impossible to complete the project.

The help by Rakesh sir, Technician, Mr. Balbir Mechanic, the Attendant is greatly

Amit Jaryal (1508045)
Anmolpreet Simgh (1508048)
Arashdeep Singh (1508050)
Arshdeep Singh Gahir (1508053)
Ashish Sharma (1508056)
Page No.

A. Assumptions
B. Material Selection
C. Design
D. Working
A fluidised bed is a physical phenomenon occurring when a quantity of a solid particulate
substance is placed under an appropriate condition to cause the solid/fluid mixture to behave as
a fluid. This is usually achieved by the introduction of pressurised fluid through the particulate
medium. The results in the medium then having many properties and characteristics of normal
fluid, such as fluids of ability to free flow under gravity or to be pumped using fluid type of
The resulting phenomenon is called fluidisation. Fluidised bed are used for several purposes,
such as fluidised bed reactors ,fluid catalytic cracking, fluidised bed crack combustion, heat or
mass transfer or interface modification such as applying coating onto solid items. This is
technique is becoming more common.

Properties :- A fluidised bed consists of fluidised solid mixture that exhibits fluid like
properties. As such, the upper surface of the bed is relatively horizontal, which is analogous to
hydrostatic behaviour. The bed can be considered to be hetrogenous mixture of fluid and solid
that can be considered by a single bulk density. Furthermore, an object with a higher density
than the bed will sink, whereas an object with a lower density than the bed will float, thus the
bed can be considered of ‘Archimedes principle’. As the density of the bed can be altered by
changing the fluid fraction, objects with different densities comparative to the bed can, by
altering either the fluid or solid fraction, be caused to sink or float.

Fluidised beds are used as a technical process which has the ability to promote high levels of
contact between gases and solids. In a fluidised bed a characteristic set of basic properties can
be utilised, indispensable to modern process and chemical engineering, these properties
• Extremely high surface area contact between fluid and solid per unit bed volume
• High relative velocities between the fluid and the dispersed solid phase.
• High levels of intermixing of the particulate phase.
• Frequent particle-particle and particle-wall collisions.
Taking an example from the food processing industry: fluidised beds are used to accelerate
freezing in some individually quick frozen (IQF) tunnel freezers. These fluidised bed tunnels
are typically used on small food products like peas, shrimp or sliced vegetables, and may use
cryogenic or vapor -compression refrigeration. The fluid used in fluidised beds may also
contain a fluid of catalytic type; that's why it is also used to catalyse the chemical reaction and
also to improve the rate of reaction.
Fluidised beds are also used for efficient bulk drying of materials. Fluidised bed technology in
dryers increases efficiency by allowing for the entire surface of the drying material to be
suspended and therefore exposed to the air. This process can also be combined with heating or
cooling, if necessary, according to the specifications of the application.

In 1922, Fritz Winkler made the first industrial application of fluidisation in a reactor for a coal
gasification process.[2] In 1942, the first circulating fluid bed was built for catalytic cracking of
mineral oils, with fluidisation technology applied to metallurgical processing (roasting
arsenopyrite) in the late 1940s. During this time theoretical and experimental research
improved the design of the fluidised bed. In the 1960s VAW-Lippewerk in Lünen, Germany
implemented the first industrial bed for the combustion of coal and later for the calcination of
aluminium hydroxide.
During this time theoretical and experimental research improved the design of fluidised bed. In
the 1960s VAW-Lippewerk in Lunen, Germany implemented the first industrial bed for the
combustion of coal and later for the calcination of aluminium hydroxide.
The term ‘fluidised bed’ is unavoidably connected to the term particulate solid material.
Particulate materials are mechanical mixtures of multitude of solid particles. Natural particulate
particles originate from many natural processes, heating, cooling, thermal dilatation, crushing,
grinding, milling, evaporation , spraying and drying. Particulate materials can also be an
organic plant origin fruits and seeds. Fluidised beds have been used in the technological
processes such as cracking, crushing, adsorption related chemical processes. Particulate
materials most commonly consist of solid particles with a range of shape and size. The majority
of inorganic particulate solid materials found in nature have an extremely wide range of particle
sizes. Such materials are called poly disperse materials.

Problem formulations
The upward flow of fluid through a bed of solid particles is an important process
occurring in nature and in industrial operations. The apparatus in our lab was designed to allow
the study of the characteristics of flow through both fixed and fluidized beds of solid
particles.At low velocities, the pressure drop increases with the fluid velocity according to the
Ergun equation .

ΔP = pressure drop through the packed bed
h = bed height
Dp = particle diameter
Ρf = fluid density
vs = superficial velocity at a density averaged between inlet and outlet conditions
ε = bed porosity
NRe = average Reynolds number based upon superficial velocity

When the packing has a shape different from spherical, an effective particle diameter is defined

As = interfacial area of packing per unit of packing volume, ft2/ft3 or m2/m3
The effective particle diameter Dp in Eq. (1) can be replaced by φ,Dp where Dp now represents
the particle size of a sphere having the same volume as the particle and φs the shape factor. The
bed porosity, ε, which is the fraction of total volume that is void is defined as


where R = inside radius of column, As and ε are characteristics of the packing. Experimental
values of ε can easily be determined from Eq. (3) but As for non-spherical particles is usually
more difficult to obtain. You can find values of As and ε for the common commercial packing
in various references. As for spheres can be computed from the volume and surface area of a
sphere. As the gas velocity increases, conditions finally occur where the force of the pressure
drop times the cross-sectional area just equals the weigh of the particles in the bed. A slight
increase in gas velocity, to increase the pressure drop, is required to unlock the intermeshed
fixed-bed particles. Once the particles disengage from each other, they begin to move. The
pressure drops to the point where the upward force on the bed is balanced by the downward

force due to the weight of the bed particles. Further increases in gas velocity fluidize the bed,
the pressure drop rises slightly until slugging and entrainment occurs. The point of maximum
pressure drop shown in Figure 1 is the point of minimum fluidization. At this point



At high fluid velocities, when the expansion of the bed is large, the behaviour of fluidization
depends on whether the fluid is a liquid or a gas. With a liquid, fluidization is smooth and
uniform without large bubbling. This kind of fluidization is known as “particulate” fluidization.
With a gas, uniform fluidization is frequently observed only at low velocities. At high
velocities, non uniform or “aggregative” fluidization will be observed with large bubbling and
the bed is then often referred to as a “boiling” bed. In long, narrow fluidized beds, coalescence
of the bubbles might be large enough to cover the entire cross-section of the column. These
slugs of gas alternate with slugs of fluidized solids are carried upwards and subsequently
collapse, causing the solids to fall back again. Slugging can cause severe entrainment problems
and hence is undesirable.

Heat transfer characteristics
Heat transfer in the fluidized bed is, apart from the particle and gas mixing, the most important
process contributing to the intensity of the physical and chemical processes. In fact, several
different processes can be distinguished: particle-gas heat transfer, heat transfer between
different points in the bed, heat transfer between the fluidized bed particles and the larger

particles floating in the bed and the heat transfer to the submerged surfaces in contact with the
bed. All of these heat transfer processes are very intensive in fluidized beds.
In the case of uniform fluidization, the temperature difference between points in the bed does
not exceed 2-5°C, with mean bed temperatures of several hundred, even 1000°C. Gas
temperature, when leaving the bed, is practically the same as the particle temperature. These
facts tell us of the great capability of the solid particles to exchange heat with the fluidizing gas.
Intensive heat transfer is, first of all, a consequence of the large specific heat transfer surface
(3000 to 45000 m2/m3), although heat transfer coefficients to the particles in the bed are
relatively small, 6-25 W/m2°C. The large heat capacity of the solid particles also makes the
temperature difference between gas and particles small. Gas temperature follows the particle
Gas to particle heat transfer coefficients can be calculated from the Gelperin and Einstein




The theory of this experiment in built around the assumption that at “steady state ” the particles
arevuniformly distributed in the bed . as you increase the flow rate of air take some notes
concerning what bed looks like at various stages . this may help to explain some discrepancies
between measured and theoretical values .

For the study of experiment , three different materials were selected using the four criteria
specified by Franka . these four criteria were :-
1 . fluidization behaviour
2 . size range
3 . density
4 . aspect ratio

The fluidization behaviour refers how easily the particles can be fluidised . To compare the
fluidization characteristics the chosen particles must fall with in the same fluidization category .
the particle size between the composed materials and corresponds to 500-600 µm. This size
range is chosen because of its availability and low cost. When imaging fluidized beds with X
rays, X-ray attenuation will be influenced by material density; low density materials have less
attenuation than high density materials. Finally, the aspect ratio desired for the particles should
be on the order of 1 to allow comparisons with glass beads, which are common reference
materials. Additionally, particles that have a uniform shape provide a better quality of

Geldart Groupings
In 1973, Professor D. Geldart proposed the grouping of powders in to four so-called "Geldart
Groups”.The groups are defined by their locations on a diagram of solid-fluid density
difference and particle size. Design methods for fluidised beds can be tailored based upon the
particle's Geldart grouping:
Group A For this group the particle size is between 20 and 100 µm, and the particle density is
typically less than 1.4g/cm3. Prior to the initiation of a bubbling bed phase, beds from these
particles will expand by a factor of 2 to 3 at incipient fluidisation, due to a decreased bulk
density. Most powder-catalyzed beds utilize this group.
Group B The particle size lies between 40 and 500 µm and the particle density between 1.4-4g/
cm3. Bubbling typically forms directly at incipient fluidisation.
Group C This group contains extremely fine and consequently the most cohesive particles.
With a size of 20 to 30 µm, these particles fluidise under very difficult to achieve conditions,
and may require the application of an external force, such as mechanical agitation.
Group D The particles in this region are above 600 µm and typically have high particle
densities. Fluidisation of this group requires very high fluid energies and is typically associated
with high levels of abrasion. Drying grains and peas, roasting coffee beans, gasifying coals, and
some roasting metal ores are such solids, and they are usually processed in shallow beds or in
the spouting mode.

Typically, pressurized gas or liquid enters the fluidised bed vessel through numerous holes via a
plate known as a distributor plate, located at the bottom of the fluidised bed. The fluid flows
upward through the bed, causing the solid particles to be suspended. If the inlet fluid is
disabled, the bed may settle, pack onto the plate or trickle down through the plate. Many
industrial beds use a sparger distributor instead of a distributor plate. The fluid is then
distributed through a series of perforated tubes.

Working :-

Compressed air from the laboratory’s building air supply is used as the fluidizing gas for this
research. The pressure at which the compressed air is delivered inside the laboratory is 620 kPa
(90 psi). However, since the flow rates used for fluidization vary 40 depending of the specific
conditions of each experiment, an air flow control board with four independent air lines is used
to deliver the required air to the fluidized bed . Since the air injection system (used for side air
input) is not used in this work, it will not be discussed.

Schematic diagram of the air flow system.
The fluidized bed air flow can be regulated by either an automatic control valve or a manual
stainless steel pressure regulator and attached filter. The manual pressure regulator is used in
this research and has a pressure range of 0-862 kPa (0-125 psi) and maximum inlet pressure of
2.07 MPa (300 psi). The regulated air flows through two different mass flow meters: a 0-1000
Lpm stainless steel Aalborg GFM771 flow meter, which is used for high gas flow applications,
and a 0-200 Lpm Aalborg GFM571 flow meter, used in lower gas flow applications. This
allows for better measurement resolution.
The flow through the respective mass flow meter is controlled through ball valves. The mass
flow meters for this study have an error of 2%. Pressure is measured with a Dwyer 0-34.5 kPa
(0-5 psig), 4-20 mA output pressure transducer located in the bottom of the plenum. The signals
obtained from the pressure transducer and mass flow meters are connected to a computer
controlled data acquisition system. Pressure readings have an estimated error of 1% to 4%.
LabView 8.5 acquisition software records real-time pressure and flow rate measurements over
a user-specified period, and then the average pressure and flow rate are calculated and
recorded. Average measurements are necessary due to the highly variable pressure signal
caused by the bubbling fluidized bed. In this study, data collection occurs at a rate of 1000 Hz
for a time interval of 5 seconds. Average pressure and gas flow rate are subsequently written to
a data file.
As any other measurement device, the pressure transducer and flow meters are calibrated
before starting the experiments. The technique used to calibrate the pressure transducer was to
fill up a tube with water, and then measure the hydrostatic pressure at different water level
heights. Since the output signal of the transducer is a voltage, the specified pressure is linearly
related to the output voltage, which is then used in a
calibration function in the data acquisition software. The mass flow meters are calibrated using
a calibration drum. The output voltage of the flow meters is measured as a function of the
calculated mass flow that passes through the drum during a specified time period. Afterwards, a
linear curve fit is applied and used as the calibration function in the data acquisition software.


Manom Heat Rotame T1 °C T2 °C T3 °C T4 °C T4 °C T5 °C T6 °C
eter Input ter
Readin Q=VIco Readin
gs (cm) s gs (cm)


Plot a graph between superficial velocity VO and Heat transfer coefficient between heater and
air .