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3068

Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 1995,34, 3060-3077

SEPARATIONS

Drying of Solids in Fluidized Beds


C. Srinivasa Kannan, P. P. Thomas, and Y. B. G. Varma"
Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Znstitute of Technology, Madras, Madras 600 036, India

Solids are dried in batch and in continuous fluidized beds corresponding to cross-flow and countercurrent flow of phases covering a wide range in drying conditions. Materials that essentially dry with constant drying rate and then give a falling drying rate approximately linear with respect to solids moisture content (sand) a s well a s those with an extensive falling rate period with the subsequent falling rate being a curve with respect to the moisture content (mustard, ragi, poppy seeds) are chosen for the study. The performance of the continuous fluidized bed driers is compared with that of batch fluidized bed driers; the performance is predicted using batch kinetics, the residence time distribution of solids, and the contact efficiency between the phases.

Introduction
Fluidized bed drying is advantageously adopted in industrial practice for drying of granular solids such as grains, fertilizers, chemicals, and minerals either for long shelf life or to facilitate further processing or handling. The drying rate in the fluidized bed is strongly influenced by the material characteristics and the fluidization conditions. Materials with no internal porosity dry essentially a t a constant rate while others with internal porous structure give both constant and falling drying rates. A knowledge of drying kinetics is essential for the estimation of the drying time needed to reduce the moisture content to the desired level and for suggesting the optimal drying conditions. Toward this, it is required to know the constant drying rate, the critical moisture content at which the drying rate begins to fall, the falling drying rate at the different levels of moisture, and the equilibrium moisture content. The information is however not readily available in literature to facilitate an a priori estimation of the drying rate in fluidized bed drying of solids (Kunii and Levenspiel, 1991). This is partly due to lack of sufficient experimental data, arising out of the specificity of the drying rate to the material and t o the drying conditions. It is attempted in the present study to experimentally investigate the fluidized bed drylng of solids (a) that give essentially a constant drying rate period and a short falling rate period, where the falling drying rate may be approximated to a linear relationship with respect to the moisture content of the solid; and (b) that give essentially a falling drying rate period and a short constant drying rate period, where the falling drying rate is a curve with respect to the moisture content of the solid. The variables covered in the study include the temperature and flow rate of the heating medium, the initial moisture content of solid, the particle size, and the solids holdup. The objective is to identify the variables and their extent of influence on the drying rate in a fluidized bed at different levels of moisture content of solids. Fluidized bed drying may be carried out either as

--

10

la)
12 -3 W l 4

IC)

Figure 1. Schematic diagram of experimental setup. (a) Batch fluidized bed. (b) Continuous single-stage spiral fluidized bed. (c) Multistage fluidized bed. (1)Air compressor; (2) control valve; (3) orifice meter; (4) air heater; (5) air chamber; (6) temperature controller; (7) air distributor plate; (8) calming section; (9) therfluidization column; (11)spiral baffle; (12) vibratory mocouple; (10) feeder; (13) calibrated orifice; (14) solids hopper; (15) solids discharge pipe; (16)solids downcomer.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

batch or as continuous operation. Batch driers are mainly used for small scale operation while continuous driers are preferred for large capacity (Reay and Baker, 1985). The second objective of the present study is to compare the performance of batch and different types of continuous fluidized bed driers.

0888-5885/95/2634-3068$09.QQIQ 0 1995 American Chemical Society

Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 34, No. 9, 1995 3069


Table 1. Materials and Range of Variables Investigated in the Study
(a) Materials ragi (Elesine coracana Linn) density, kg/m3 particle size, m ( x 103) 1207 1.48 mustard (Brassica napus Linn) 1100 1.7-2.15 (b) Range of Variables multistage batch air flow rate, m3/s 0.03-0.098 solids flow rate, kg/(m2 s) 313-373 inlet air temp, K mean holding time, s 8000 solids holdup, kg 0.15-2.6 single stage single-stage spiral two-stage spiral 0.06-0.098 0.03-1.5 313-353 220-1160 1.3-3.2 0.074-0.098 0.03-0.12 333-352 300-1300 1.3-2.6 0.074 0.03-0.09 333-352 500-1300 2-2.6 N=1 0.03 0.058-0.306 333-373 40-100 0.09-0.22 N=2
.0.03

poppy seeds (Pappaver sominiferum) 800 0.363-0.6

sand 2650 0.363-0.6

N=3
. ._ 0.03

0.058-0.306 333-373 70-190 0.18-0.38

0.058-0.306 333-373 100-310 0.03-0.68

Experimental Section Batch Drying. Drying experiments were conducted using fluidization columns of 148 mm i.d. and of 245 mm i.d. The gas distributor was 2 mm thick with 2 mm perforations and 13% free area. A fine wire mesh of 0.2 mm openings was spot welded over the distributor plate to arrest the flow of solids from the fluidized bed into the air chamber. Air from the blower was heated and fed into the air chamber and into the fluidization column (Figure la). The electrical heater consisted of multiple heating elements each of 2 kW rating. A temperature controller, provided t o the air chamber, facilitated control of air temperature to f 0 . 5 "C, for the operating range of 30-110 "C. Air flow as measured using a calibrated orifice meter. A known quantity (at 2 kg) of known initial moisture content of solids was taken in the batch fluidized bed, and air at the desired rate was introduced into the column. As fluidization continued, solid samples of approximately 5 g each were scooped out of the bed for moisture determination. In general 10-20 samples were collected in each experiment. Continuous Drying. Experiments on continuous fluidized bed drying of solids were conducted under (i) under cross flow and (ii) under countercurrent flow of phases. In the former, a copper foil of 1mm thickness, would in the form of a spiral, was placed within the circular cross section of the fluidization column. The height of the copper foil was 200 mm; the channel width and length of the spiral were 25 and 1600 mm, respectively. Solids, fed at the center, discharged from the fluidized bed at its periphery through a 12 mm i.d. downcomer tube (Figure lb). These are termed "spiral fluidised beds'' (Chandran et al., 1990). In the second arrangement, the fluidization column was sectioned into a number of stages using horizontal perforated plates. The plates were 2 mm thick, with 2 mm perforations and 13% free area, with a fine wire mesh at the top t o arrest solids downflow through the perforations. Downcomers of 12 mm i.d. were provided to the perforated plates at diametrically opposite locations to serve for flow of solids from stage to stage. These are termed "multistage fluidised beds" (Srinivasa Kannan et al., 1994.) Solids feed t o the fluidized bed was controlled using a vibratory feeder and a calibrated orifice at the discharge end. With spiral fluidized beds, fluidized solids moved along the spiral from the center to the periphery of the bed in cross flow t o the upflowing gas. Solids mixing in spiral fluidized beds may be described using the axial dispersion model (Pydisetty et al., 1989). With multistage fluidized beds, solids fed at the top of

the column moved in the fluidized state from stage t o stage countercurrent to the upflowing gas and discharged from the bottom stage. Solids mixing in each stage may be assumed t o correspond to ideal mixing (Krishnaiah et al., 1982). Single-, two-, and three-stage beds were studied in this arrangement (Figure IC). With the continuous feeding of solids and air at the desired rates and choice of experimental conditions, a sample of solids was collected at steady state from the solids discharge tube for moisture determination. Steady state was assumed when the solids discharge rate and the moisture content remained constant. The holdup of solids was determined by the weighing method after stopping the flow of solids and air into the column. The mean holding time was estimated from the solids holdup and solids discharge rate. The solids moisture content was determined by drying the sample till constant weight in an air oven at 105 "C. The moisture content is expressed on dry basis as kilograms of moisture per kilogram of dry solid. The experimental data were checked for reproducibility, especially when the sample times were small, and were found to deviate less than 4% from the reported value. Table 1 gives the details of the materials and the range of variables covered in the study.

Results and Discussion Batch Fluidized Bed Drier. Typical experimental data showing the drying rate -dC/dt versus moisture content of solids are shown in Figures 2 and 3 covering the effects of temperature and flow rate of air, the initial moisture content of solids, the particle size, and the solids holdup. The following observations are made based on drying of ragi, mustard, poppy seeds, and sand in batch fluidized beds. The materials exhibit constant and falling rate periods; the extent and the value of each depend upon the material characteristics and the drying conditions. For example, sand dries essentially at constant rate while ragi shows a considerable falling rate period, compared to the constant rate period. An increase in air temperature increases significantly the drying rate in the constant and falling rate periods for all the materials. This increase in the constant drying rate is attributed t o the increase in surface temperature of the particle resulting in higher surface humidity and an increased evaporation from the surface. The increase during the falling drying rate period is due t o the solid particle attaining a higher temperature; this increases intraparticle moisture diffusion to the particle surface.

3070 Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 34,No. 9, 1995

3
4

F2
X
0

-2 c

IU -0

0 0

0.1
I

0.2
I

0.3
I

0.4

61

i
1
0.5 5

C ldrv

basis)

0.5

353 0.060 1.48 1.3 Ragi

1
0.02 0.10

z3
IU -0

I -

C 2

0.18 0.26 (wet b a s i s )

0.34

Figure 4. Effect of solids initial moisture content on drying rate based on wet and dry basis: Ci = 0.4 (0,) ;Ci = 0.21 (a, 0 A).

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

Moisture content, C

Figure 2. Effect of (a) temperature and flow rate of air and (b) particle size and holdup of solids on drying rate for mustard and ragi in batch fluidized bed.

3.5

c
c

I
Matl. : S a n d

I
A

IU
D

.2 4 U

/ 7 i

I
I

.5

,00

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

Moisture content, C XIO Figure 3. Effect of temperature, flow rate of air, and holdup of solids on drying rate for sand in batch fluidized bed.

An increase in air rate increases the drying rate in the constant rate period due to a decrease in gas film resistance surrounding the particle. The influence of air rate on the drying rate in the falling rate period is however small as this resistance plays a minor role during the falling rate period. The solids initial moisture content influences the drying rate, especially during the falling rate period.

When the drying rate is expressed on a dry basis, the constant drying rate appears not influenced by the initial moisture content. On the other hand, when expressed on a wet basis (Figure 41, the drying rate during constant and falling rate periods is influenced by the solids initial moisture content. Solids with high initial moisture content will have less dry solids i.e., fewer number of particles, and have reduced drying rate per unit weight of initial charge. As drying progresses, close to equilibrium, solids with low initial moisture content due to higher holdup may show a marginal decrease in drying rate than solids with high initial moisture content. A n increase in particle size decreases the drying rate in the constant and falling rate periods. This reduction is due to reduction in surface area per unit weight of solids. An increase in solids holdup decreases the drying rate in the constant and in the falling rate periods. This is due to a reduction in air to solids ratio for the given air flow rate. The experimental data presented in Figures 2 and 3 show that the critical moisture content is influenced by the drying conditions. It increases with increase in air rate and temperature but decreases with increase in particle size and solids holdup. It also increases with increase in solids initial moisture content. The equi~ librium moisture content, however, is found to depend primarily on the temperature of the drying process. The drying rate during constant rate period is of importance as it forms the maximum drying rate for the material, and it constitutes in certain materials (e.g., sand) the major portion of the drying process. On the basis of the experimental data, the constant drying rate is empirically related to the system variables as follows:

Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 34, No. 9, 1995 3071


Table 2. Effective Diffusivities for Drying at Different Experimental Conditions in the Batch Fluidized Bed

D
0.245 0.245 0.245 0.245 0.245 0.245 0.148 0.148 0.148 0.148 0.245 0.245 0.245 0.245 0.245 0.245 0.245 0.245 0.245 0.245 0.245 0.245 0.245 0.148 0.148 0.148 0.148 0.148

U g
1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.7 2 2 2 2 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 2 2 1.24 1.24 1.24 1.24 1.24

T I

c,

W,

D e ~ 10" x
3.3 5.0 3.8 3.8 3.3 3.0 9.2 8.8 7.5 7.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 2.2 2.3 2.8 1.8 3.0 3.0 3.8 3.3 4.0 4.1 3.4 2.5 3.1 2.3
343 L 333
I

Material: Ragi 333 0.4 2.6 353 0.4 2.6 333 0.44 1.3 343 0.4 2.6 343 0.27 1.3 333 0.21 1.3 353 0.2 0.15 353 0.4 0.3 353 0.4 0.6 333 0.4 0.15 Material: Mustard 323 0.287 1.3 333 0.29 1.3 343 0.3 1.3 353 0.286 1.3 0.18 1.3 333 343 0.214 1.3 353 0.194 1.3 333 0.211 2.6 353 0.201 2.6 343 0.404 2.6 353 0.404 2.6 343 0.403 2.6 353 0.4 2.6 Material: Poppy Seeds 333 0.435 0.17 324 0.464 0.17 315 0.464 0.17 315 0.3018 0.105 315 0.3865 0.17

Clock t i m e , t I s )
I 1
I I

323

313

3030

--

1200

2400 3600 4800 Clock time, t (SI

6080

Figure 5. Variation of air temperature and solids moisture content with drying time in batch fluidized bed. (a) Effect of solids holdup; (b) effect of air flow rate.

The term RWd/A(Y* - Yi) has the units of kg of water evaporated/(m2 area) (SI (kg waterkg dry air) and corresponds to the mass transfer coefficient (Treybal, 1981). When the falling drying rate is a curve (e.g., for mustard, poppy seeds, ragi), the suggested mechanism is the intraparticle diffusion for moisture movement. Srinivasa Kannan et al. (1994)following Fick's diffusion equation presented the following equation relating the average moisture content of solid to the drying time.
--

temperature and solids moisture content are plotted against the drying time for the different solids holdup and air flow rates. A high bed temperature enhances intraparticle diffusivity and lowers the solids moisture content for the given drying time. On the basis of the experimental data the effective diffusivity is related as follows:

De, = K U ~ ~ 2 5 W s - 0 ~ 2 5 exp(-O.l/Ci) exp(-2000/Ti) (3)


where K = 2 x for ragi and 1.3 x for mustard and poppy seeds. When the falling drying rate is approximated to a straight line with respect to the average solids moisture content (e.g., for sand), the drying time may be expressed as (Treybal, 1981)

C*

C - C* i

-c pn2{pn2+
a
n=l

6Bi2 exp(-Pn2De&/Rs2)
(2)

Bi(Bi - 1))

t=-

c,-c*
R

In

c,-C" c - C"

(4)

where Pn's are the roots of the equation

On rearrangement, eq 4 gives

pn cot pn + Bi - 1 = 0
The effective diffusivities are evaluated using eq 2 from the experimental data of the present study, and typical effective diffusivities are listed in Table 2. The effective diffusivity is found t o depend on solids initial moisture content, air temperature, and the material itself. Its dependency on temperature is well-known, while its dependency on solids initial moisture content has been reported for materials with internal moisture (Chu and Hustrulid, 1968; Uckan and Ulku, 1986). It is noticed from Table 2 that Der decreases with an increase in solids holdup or a decrease in the air flow rate. An increase in solids holdup decreases bed temperature, whereas an increase in air rate increases the heat input and hence the bed temperature. These effects are typically shown in Figure 5 wherein the bed

-- * -'

c, - c*- exp[-a(t

- t,)]; c 5

c,;

t, (4a)

where a = R/(C, - C*) and corresponds t o the slope of the line representing the falling rate period. Equation 4 facilitates the estimation of solids moisture content for any drying time during the falling rate period from a knowledge of the critical and equilibrium moisture contents and the drying rate during the constant rate period. On the basis of the experimental data, the critical moisture content is related empirically to the system variables as follows (Srinivasa Kannan et al., 1994):

3072 Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 34, No. 9, 1995


Clock time,t I s )

A -- A -- o
o --.-e343
0

E q n s ( l 1 4 ) Ti dpx1o3 C i

Vf

ws M a t l . '

313 0.565 323 0.650 0.650 303 0.900 303 0.900

0.47 0.092 3.089 R e s i n 0.48 0.0921.748 do 0 . 4 7 0.092 1.748 do 0.0030.1217 6.000Sand 0.0030.1517 3.000 do

Clock t i m e , t Is1

E
d

__
0

0.51

Materiol: Zerolit resin

:0 . 10

1000

2000

300 0

coo0

'0

1000

2000

3000

4000

5000

6000

Clock time,t I s )

Clock time, t

(SI

Figure 6. (A, top left) Comparison of experimental data of Chandran et al. (1990) with predicted data using eqs 1and 4. (B, bottom left) Comparison of experimental data of Mckenzie and Babu (1991) with predicted data using eqs 1and 4. (C, right) Comparison of experimental data of (a) Uckan and Ulku (1986) and (b) Thomas and Varma (1992) with perdicted data using eqs (1and 2).

where K = 2.6 for ragi, mustard, and poppy seeds and 1.4 for sand. The critical moisture contents, as read from the experimental drying rate curves, are however subjective to some extent. This is more so for materials that exhibit very short constant rate periods (e.g., ragi). However, the large amount of data used in the development of eq 5 permits prediction of C to a fair degree of , accuracy. The equilibrium moisture content is empiricallyrelated to air temperature, as (Srinivasa Kannan et al., 1994)
(6) where K = 1.3 x for mustard, ragi, and poppy seeds for sand. and 4 x The predictions using the aforementioned equations are satisfactorily compared in Figure 6 with the experimental data of earlier investigators for drying of resin and sand (Chandran, 19901, zerolit resin (Mckenzie and Bahu 19861, corn (Uckan and Ulku, 19861, and mustard (Thomas and Varma, 1992) in batch fluidized beds. For the chosen material and drying conditions, the critical and equilibrium moisture contents are predicted using eq 5 and 6. Knowing the initial moisture content, the flow rate and temperature of air, and the solids holdup in the batch fluidized bed, the drying rate in the constant rate period is estimated using eq 1. The solids moisture content for a given drying time during the falling rate period is predicted using eq 2 for materials

*,A,.

O,A, o -

-Batch Single stage spiral

C* = K exp[2000/Til

having internal moisture and using eq 4 for materials with no internal porosity. Continuous Fluidized Bed Driers. (a) Spiral Fluidized Bed Drier. Figure 7 shows typical variation of the relative moisture content of solids with air temperature and solids mean holding time in the spiral fluidized bed drier. Mean holding time is the ratio of solids holdup to the solids flow rate. Solids holdup in the continuous fluidized bed is influenced by the air flow rate, the solids rate, and the downcomer height projected into the fluidized bed. An increase in air rate decreases solids holdup. Further, the increase in air rate provides a larger heat input t o the smaller holdup

Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 34, No. 9, 1995 3073


3 6 3r

11.0

8
6

The average moisture content of solids leaving the spiral fluidized bed drier is given by

.
.U

4'u

where E(8) the exit age distribution function is given by (Pydisetty et al., 1989)

-3 1 3

0.6 0.8 1.2 1.6 Length of spiral (from centre 1 ( m 1

E(@ =

,&

Pe -exp[ -(l - 'I2 1 4n ,3312 4e

"1

de

(9)

Figure 8. Variation of temperature and solids moisture content along the length of the single-stage spiral fluidized bed drier.

!I
31 3
0

Matl. : R a g i dp = 1 . 4 8 x 10 Ci -0.274 Vf :0.06;WS:

2.6

IB a t c h
c
0.6 ICi

3 030

1 J l l I0.4 r 0.8 1.0 l 0.2

Figure 9. Variation of bed temperature and relative moisture content in batch and continuous single-stage spiral fluidized bed driers.

of solids; the effect is to decrease the moisture content of solids leaving the fluidized bed drier. An increase in solids rate increases solids holdup; however it decreases the mean holding time of solids, since the increase in solids holdup is not proportional to the solids flow rate. A decrease in solids holding time coupled with an increase in solids holdup increases the moisture content of solids leaving the fluidized bed drier. An increase in solids holdup by increasing the downcomer height, keeping the flow rates of air and solids constant, decreases the moisture content of solids leaving the fluidized bed drier due to decrease in heat input per unit solids holdup. Figure 7 also compares the performance of the spiral and batch fluidized bed driers. Solids moisture content, determined experimentally by taking solids samples from different locations along the length of the spiral fluidized bed drier, and the air temperature noted likewise along the spiral length using thermocouples, are shown in Figure 8 and compared with the data obtained in the batch fluidized bed drier in Figure 9. The similarity and close agreement of the temperature and concentration profiles in the spiral and batch fluidized bed driers explain the identical performance of the units. The performance of the spiral fluidized bed drier is predicted from batch kinetics and the solids residence time distribution (RTD). RTD of solids in spiral fluidized beds has been investigated by Pydisetty et al. (1989)for different configurations of bed geometry using different materials. The axial dispersion number was related to the system variables as (Pydisetty et al., 1989)

Substituting eq 9 in eq 8, the integral is numerically evaluated for the batch kinetics (eq 2) given for the materials with internal moisture. Figure 10a compares the experimental data with the predictions using eq 8. Likewise on substitution of eqs 1 and 4a for batch kinetics and eq 9 for RTD of solids, the experimental data are satisfactorily matched with the predictions of the model for drying of sand in the spiral fluidized bed drier (Figure lob). The analysis of the experimental data on spiral fluidized bed driers covering comparison with the performanceof batch fluidized bed drier as well as with the model predictions shows that the crosscurrent driers are comparable to their performance to the batch driers for materials with internal moisture and for materials possessing only the external moisture. (b) Single-Stage and Multistage Fluidized Bed Driers. Typical experimental data showing the effect of air temperature and solids holding time on the relative moisture content of solids in a single-stage continuous fluidized bed drier are shown in Figure 11. The effects of air rate, solids rate, and downcomer height on solids holdup and on solids holding time in singlestage and multistage fluidized bed driers are qualitatively similar to the effects of these variables reported earlier for the spiral fluidized bed driers. The performance of the single-stage continuous fluidized bed drier is modeled using eq 8 on the assumption of ideal mixing for solids, viz., E(8) = exp(-8), and compared satisfactorily with experimental data in Figure 11. Figure 12 compares the performance of single-stage, two-stage, and three-stage continuous countercurrent flow fluidized bed driers with the performance of the batch fluidized bed drier. It is seen that the batch fluidized bed drier gives better performance than the single-stage continuous fluidized bed drier; the performance of two-stage and three-stage fluidized bed driers is superior to the performance of the batch fluidized bed drier (and therefore the spiral fluidized bed drier). The improved performance may be attributed to the following: (1) Countercurrent operation gives higher effective concentration driving force than the cross-current operation; (ii) an increase in the number of stages increases the solids holdup in the multistage fluidized bed, thereby increasing the mean holding time of solids in the drier; (iii) staging of the fluidized bed using horizontal perforated plates offers the flow close to piston flow for both phases (solids phase alone approaches piston flow in spiral beds); (iv) horizontal perforated plates in the multistage fluidized bed facilitate cross flow between bubble phase and emulsion phase for the

3074 Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 34,No. 9,1995


I

M a t e r i a l : Ragi

Material :Mustard Exptl. 181 -

-EW.
0

t u

.-

0.6-

o,41
1
0.20

d = 1.48 X 10 , o'mO.245 h :4.8 ~ 1 0 V, = 0.074

-3

333 Ti 200 400

i I
I
600 1 800 1
I U

O.So

7 200 400 600 800 1000 1200


I

1.0*

.-

0. 6

M a t e r i a l : Mustard o Exptl Eqn 18)-

0 6IU

d p = 1 7X10-3

Mean holding t i m e , t

Is)

D = 0.245 h = 6 OXIO-~ 0 6VI-0.074

TI = 3 3 3

Figure 11. Effect of air temperature and solids holding time on solids moisture content in continuous single-stage fluidized bed drier for (a) mustard and (b) sand. Comparison of experimental data (0,A ) with prediction using eq 8.
I

0
r i d : Sand
1,

o
-Eqn.

Exptl.

Iu

.
U

.^

0.

I81

0.
0.
I
0 h Ti Vf

= 0.2LS -2 =S 5 ~ 1 0 ~303 = 0.1517

0 '

50

100 150 200 250 Mean h o l d i n g time, 7 ( s I

300

lu

.
U

Figure 10. Comparison of experimental data of single-stage spiral fluidized bed drier with predicted data using eq 8: (a, top) ragi; and (b, middle) mustard; and (c, bottom) sand.

0 2-

gas phase (Raghuraman and Varma, 1973). This improves the concentration driving force from the particle t o its neighborhood. Murphree Stage Efficiency. It is attempted to analyze the performance of the single-stage and multistage fluidized bed driers using stage efficiency concept. Murphree stage efficiency, M P E , and Murphree overall efficiency, M O E ,are defined as (Figure 13)

0 '

1 200 10 1 1 300 1 1 1 4 0 500 600 100


M e a n holding t i m e ,

7 Is 1

Figure 12. Effect of number of stages on outlet moisture content of solids in the multistage fluidized bed drier for (a) ragi and (b) poppy seeds.

C,* is the equilibrium solids moisture content corresponding to temperature T, in stage n. CN" is the equilibrium value corresponding to temperature TN in the bottom stage of the multistage fluidized bed drier. Figure 14 shows the variation in solids relative moisture content and in air temperature, measured experimentally, in the three stages of the three-stage

fluidized bed drier. Figure 14 also gives Murphree stage efficiency estimated for each stage of the three-stage drier. Murphree stage efficiency is the highest for the top stage t o which solids with the highest moisture content are fed into the fluidized bed drier. Air temperature is however the lowest in the top stage of the fluidized bed drier. The highest Murphree efficiency in the top stage corresponds to constant drying rate and the initial stage of the falling rate period. Figure 15 is the plot of Murphree stage efficiency against A (A = P G d G , ) for the three stages of the threestage fluidized bed drier. iis the ratio of slopes of

Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 34, No. 9, 1995 3075


1.01
I
I

350

330 2
t -

0.4

320
310

0.2 0.06

I
I

I cn-l

t I
' Y

a 0.4. . z

I
0.06
0.10 0.1 4

II c n
w

t t
I cN-l

G, (kg , m-.' s") Figure 14. Variation of (a) bed temperature and solids moisture content, and (b) Murphree stage efficiency with solids flow rate in a three-stage countercurrent fluidized bed drier.

Yn+l c
ff

1"

I
a
S

Material : Ragi

Figure 13. Schematic representation of solids moisture content and air humidity in a countercurrent multistage fluidized bed drier.

I i

I"
Ii

0.3

-1 . 0

0.1

0.2
A

0.3

0.4

0.5

operating and equilibrium lines. An increase in R represents an increase in air to solids ratio which is favorable for drying of solids. Figure 16 shows the variation of Murphree overall efficiency with R for single-, two-, and three-stage fluidized bed driers. It is seen that an increase in air temperature or an increase in R increases Murphree overall efficiency. An increase in air inlet temperature gives higher average temperature for the entire fluidized bed. Likewise, an increase in air-to-solids ratio provides higher heat input per unit quantity of solids in the drier. This gives a smaller temperature drop for the heating medium and a higher Murphree overall efficiency. Figure 17 shows Murphree overall efficiency for single-, two-, and three-stage fluidized bed driers. The variation in the band shown in the figure represents the variation in MOEwith the experimental conditions covered in the study. MOE varies with the air inlet temperature, the air-to-solids ratio, and the air inlet humidity. Air inlet humidity has not been varied in the study. As seen from the figure, Murphree overall efficiency increases rapidly with increase in the number of stages from the single-stage to three-stage fluidized bed drier.

Figure 15. Variation of Murphree stage efficiency with i each in of three stages of the multistage fluidized bed drier. (c) Two-Stage Spiral Fluidized Bed Drier. A few experiments were conducted using a two-stage spiral fluidized bed drier. Figure 18 compares the variation of relative moisture content of solids leaving single-stage and two-stage spiral fluidized bed driers with a variation in the solids holding time. The performance of single- and two-stage spiral fluidized bed driers is qualitatively similar to the performance of single- and two-stage countercurrent multistage driers. The superior performance of the two-stage drier over that of the single-stage drier is due t o near-piston flow for solids in each stage and due t o the countercurrent operation in the two-stage bed (see Figure 17). The variation in solids relative moisture content and in air temperature along the spiral length are typically shown in Figure 19. It is noticed that the significant variation in air temperature and in solids moisture content occurs in the top stage of the two-stage drier. In the two-stage drier, solids with the highest moisture content are fed t o the top stage and air is fed to the bottom stage.

3076 Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 34, No. 9, 1995


0.91
I I

353

-1
=
tI
I

343

1 I.,

333

A , A 343 0.0908 0 1353 jO.0889


M a t l . : Ragi dp = 1 .48 Y

0 = 0.245

32

31

o.2 -0 1

t
0.2
0.3
A

3031 0

1
0.8 Top stage

1
1.6

I
3:2

0.7

0.4

0.5

0.6

I-

Length o f spiral {rom feed location ( m )

-I _

2.4 6ottom s t a g e

I
$0

0.8

0.6

..
U

0.4'"
0.2

1 0

Figure 16. Variation of Murphree overall efficiency with 1 and with air temperature for single-stage, two-stage, and three-stage fluidized bed driers.
1.0
I

Figure 19. Variation of solids moisture content and air temperature along the spiral length in a two-stage spiral fluidized bed drier.

4
0.8-

0" r 0.60.40. 2
Number of s t a g e s Figure 17. Effect of number of stages on Murphree overall efficiency for spiral and multistage fluidized bed driers.
0

Multistage fluidised bed drier

A
IU

Single s t a g e o Two s t a g e

0.4
0.2

0 '

u 1600
400 800 1200 Mean holding t i m e , t ( s 1

Figure 18. Comparison of performance of single- and two-stage spiral fluidized bed driers.

Summary and Conclusion


Experiments are conducted in batch, continuous single-stage (cocurrent), spiral (cross-current), and multistage (countercurrent) fluidized bed driers, using materials that essentially dry a t a constant rate and those that essentially dry during a falling rate period under intraparticle moisture diffusion control. "he inlet air temperature, air rate, solids rate, solids holdup, initial moisture content of solids, particle size, and number of stages are the variables investigated in the study.

Fluidized bed drying of solids exhibits constant and falling rate periods. The constant drying rate is influenced by the air rate, its temperature, the solids holdup, and the particle size. The critical moisture content is influenced in addition by the initial moisture content of solids. Air temperature is the principal variable influencing the falling drying rate and the equilibrium moisture content. The empirical equations given for the critical and equilibrium moisture content and the effective diffusivity are developed on the basis of experimental data of the present study. Though they are specific to the materials, they are able to show a discernible trend for materials with internal moisture from materials without internal moisture. The predictions of drying rate using the empirical correlations agree well with the data of the present study as well as that reported in the literature for widely different materials. Air inlet temperature and solids holding time are the two principal variables influencing the drying rate in continuous fluidized bed dryers. Solids holding time depends on air rate, solids rate, and the geometry of the solids discharge tube. The performance of spiral fluidized bed driers for materials with or without internal moisture closely corresponds to the performance of batch fluidized bed driers, and it is satisfactorily predicted using batch drying kinetics and the residence time distribution of solids in the spiral fluidized beds. The performance of the continuous single-stage fluidized bed drier is inferior to the performance of the batch fluidized bed drier; the performance of the continuous drier is satisfactorily predicted using batch kinetics and assuming of ideal mixing for solids. The performance of two- and three-stage countercurrent fluidized bed driers is superior to that of the batch fluidized bed drier. This is attributed to a higher effective driving force resulting from countercurrent operation, to a higher holding time for solids due to multistaging of the fluidized bed, and to cross flow of air between the emulsion and bubble phases to give

Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 34,No. 9, 1995 3077 improved contact time distribution. Murphree stage efficiency is the highest for the stage to which the solids are fed into the drier, and Murphree overall efficiency increases with increase in air-to-solids ratio and the number of stages in multistage fluidized bed driers. The Murphree overall efficiency for the two-stage spiral fluidized bed drier is higher than the efficiency for the two-stage countercurrent fluidized bed drier. The experimental data and its analysis clearly indicate the advantage of the spiral fluidized bed drier over the single-stage continuous drier and that of multistage driers over the batch fluidized bed drier.
1= K * G ~ G ,
Subscripts

a = R/(C, - C*)
c = critical g = gas i = initial, inlet s = solids
Superscripts
- = average * = equilibriudsaturation

Literature Cited Nomenclature


A = total surface area of dry solids, m2 Ar = Archimedes number, gdp3qg(g, &Ipg2 Bi = mass Biot number, K,R$D,n C = moisture content of solids, kg of moisturekg of dry solid dCldt = drying rate, kg of waterl(kg of dry solid-s) D = fluidization column diameter, m De = axial dispersion coefficient, m2/s Deff = effective diffusivity of moisture, m21s d , = particle size, m E(@) exit age distribution function for solids = Fr = Froude number, U,2lgd, g = gravitational constant, m/s2 G = mass flow rate of air, kg/(m2s) h = height of downcomer, m K = constant in eq 3, 5 , and 6 K, = external mass transfer coefficient, m/s K* = equilibrium coefficient L = length of the spiral, m MPE= Murphree stage efficiency MOE= Murphree overall efficiency N = number of stages n = nth stage Pe = Peclet number, UJJD, R = constant drying rate, kg of moisture/(kg of dry so1ids.s) Re = Reynolds number, dpegUg/pg R , = particle radius, m T = temperature of air, K t = drying time, s U = superficial velocity, d s Vf = volumetric gas flow rate, m3/s w d = Holdup of dry solids, kg W, = holdup of wet solids, ( = w d ( l f CJ), kg Y = humidity of gas, kg of moisturekg of dry air
Greek Letters
= density, kg/m3 p = viscosity, kg4m.s) 8 = dimensionless time Chandran, A. N.; Subba, Rao, S.; Varma, Y. B. G. Fluidised bed drying of solids. ACIhE J. 1990, 36, (l), 29-38. Chu, S. T.; Hustrulid, A. Numerical solution of diffusion equations. Trans. ASAE. 196Sa, 11, 705-708. Krishnaiah, Y.; Pydisetty, Y.; Varma, Y. B. G. Residence time distribution of solids in multistage fluidisation. Chem. Eng. Sci. 1982,37 (9), 1371-1377. Kunii, D.; Levenspiel, 0. Fluidisation Engineering; ButterworthHeinemann: London, 1991. McKenzie, K. A.; Bahu, R. E. Material model for fluidised bed drying. In Drying '91; Mujumdar, A. S., Filkova, I., Eds.; Elsevier: New York, 1991; pp 130-141. In Mujumdar, A. S., Ed. Drying of Solids: Recent developments; John Wiley: New York, 1986. Pydisetty, Y.; Krishnaiah, K.; Varma, Y. B. G. Axial dispersion of solids in spiral fluidised beds. Powder Technol. 1989,59, 1-9. Raghuraman, J.; Varma, Y. B. G. A model for residence time distribution in Multistage system with cross flow between active and dead regions. Chem. Eng. Sci. 1973,28,585-591. Reay, D.; Baker, C. G. J. Drying. In Fluidisation 1985; Davidson, J. F., Clift, R., Harrison, D., Eds.; Academic Press: London, 1985; pp 529-562. Srinivasa Kannan, C.; Subbarao, S.; Varma, Y. B. G. A study of stable range of operation of Multistage fluidised beds. Powder Technol. 1994a, 78 (31, 203-211. Srinivasa Kannan, C.; Subbarao, S.; Varma, Y. B. G. A kinetic model for drying of solids in batch fluidised beds. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 1994b,33,363-370. Thomas, P. P.; Varma, Y. B. G. Fluidised bed drying of granular food materials. Powder Technol. 1992, 69, 213-222. Treybal, R. E. Mass Transfer Operations; McGraw Hill Book Company: New York, 1981. Uckan, G.; Ulku, S. Drying of corn grains in a batch fluidised bed drier. In Drying of solids; Recent developments; Mujumdar, A. S., Ed.; Wiley: New York, 1986; pp 91-96.

Received for review December 12, 1994 Revised manuscript received May 3, 1995 Accepted May 10, 1995@
IE940733Q Abstract published in Advance ACS Abstracts, J u n e 15, 1995.
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