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FLU ID IZ E D B E D R E A C T O R

A fluidized
 bed
reactor (FBR) is a type
of reactor device that can
be used to carry out a
variety of
multiphase chemical
reactions

In this type of reactor,

a fluid (gas or liquid) is
passed through a granular
solid material (usually
a catalyst ) at high
enough velocities to
suspend the solid and
cause it to behave as it
were a liquid.

Basic Principles
 T h e so lid su b stra te is
su p p o rte d b y a d istrib u to r.
 T h e flu id is fo rce d
th ro u g h th e d istrib u to r u p
th ro u g h th e so lid m a te ria l
 A t lo w e r flu id
ve lo citie s, th e so lid s
re m a in in p la ce a s th e flu id
p a sse s th ro u g h th e vo id s
in th e m a te ria l
 T h is is kn o w n a s
a p a cke d b e d re a cto r
 A s th e flu id ve lo city is
in cre a se d , th e re a cto r w ill
re a ch a sta g e w h e re th e
fo rce o f th e flu id o n th e
so lid s is e n o u g h to b a la n ce
th e w e ig h t o f th e so lid
Basic Principles
 T h is sta g e is kn o w n
a s flu id iza tio n a n d o ccu rs
at th is m in im u m
flu id iza tio n ve lo city
 A s th e flu id ve lo city is
in cre a se d , th e re a cto r w ill
re a ch a sta g e w h e re th e
fo rce o f th e flu id o n th e
so lid s is e n o u g h to b a la n ce
th e w e ig h t o f th e so lid
m a te ria l
 T h is sta g e is kn o w n
a s flu id iza tio n a n d o ccu rs
at th is m in im u m
flu id iza tio n ve lo city
 O n ce th is m in im u m
ve lo city is su rp a sse d , th e
co n te n ts o f th e re a cto r b e d
b e g in to exp a n d a n d sw irl
Basic Principles




 The reactor is now a
fluidized bed.
 Depending on the
operating conditions and
properties of solid phase
various flow regimes can
be observed in this
reactor.

Uses
s a re stillu se d to p ro d u ce g a so lin e a n d o th e r fu e ls, a lo n g w ith m a n y o th e r ch e m

 p o lym e rs a re m a d e u sin g FB R te ch n o lo g y , su ch a s 

R ’ s . T h e se in clu d e

t se ttin g s.

flu id ize d b e d re a cto rs a llo w fo r a cle a n e r, m o re e fficie n t p ro ce ss th a n p re vio u s s
Catalytic Cracking of
Petroleum
ro u g h o f flu id iza tio n in 1 9 4 2 w a s a sso cia te d w ith ca ta lytic cra ckin g o f g a so ilin to

ca ta lytic cra ckin g h a d b e e n ca rrie d o u t in fixe d b e d re a cto rs.

ckin g d e p o sits ca rb o n a ce o u s p ro d u cts o n th e ca ta lyst, ca u sin g ra p id d e a ctiva tio

a in ta in th e p ro d u ctio n ca p a city , th e ca rb o n h a d to b e b u rn e d o ff.

a tio n re q u ire d sw itch in g th e re a cto r o u t o f p ro d u ctio n .
Catalytic Cracking of
Petroleum
h e n fo u n d th a t th e d e n se m ixtu re o f so lid s a n d g a s b e h a ve d in m a n y a sp e cts lik

a ke s th e co n tro l o f stre a m s m u ch m o re co n ve n ie n t.

h e n flu id ize d b e d s h a ve b e e n u se d in o th e r fie ld s w h e re so lid s h a ve to b e h a n d le
Advantages
 Uniform Particle Mixing
• Due to the intrinsic fluid-like behavior of the solid material,
fluidized beds do not experience poor mixing as in packed
beds.
• This complete mixing allows for a uniform product that can often
be hard to achieve in other reactor designs.

 Uniform Temperature Gradients
• Many chemical reactions require the addition or removal of heat.
• Local hot or cold spots within the reaction bed, often a problem in
packed beds, are avoided in a fluidized situation such as an
FBR. I
• n other reactor types, these local temperature differences,
especially hotspots, can result in product degradation. Thus
FBRs are well suited to exothermic reactions.
Advantages
 Ability to Operate Reactor in Continuous State
• The fluidized bed nature of these reactors allows for the ability to
continuously withdraw product and introduce new reactants
into the reaction vessel.
• Operating at a continuous process state allows manufacturers to
produce their various products more efficiently due to the
removal of startup conditions in batch processes.
Disadvantages
• Increased Reactor Vessel Size
• Pumping Requirements and Pressure Drop
• Particle Entrainment
• Lack of Current Understanding
• Erosion of Internal Component