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# Minimum Fluidizing

## Velocities for Various Bed

Packings
By
Andrew Maycock
Introduction to Fluidization
 Fluid flowed through bottom of a fixed bed
 Fluidization is the balance of gravity, drag
and buoyant forces
 Suspended particles have larger effective
surface area than a packed fixed bed
 The smallest velocity at which fluidization
occurs is the minimum fluidization velocity
Fluidization Apparatus

## Figure 1: Example of fluidization bed

Overview
 Theoretical Approach
 Experimental Approach
 Results
 Method Summaries
 Conclusions
 Q&A
Theoretical Approach
 Bernoulli’s Equation
P V 2
 gz   
 2
 Correlations for friction loss terms through
porous media
Vs  1    x
2
La min ar  150 
D p
2 3

Vs2 x 1  
Turbulent  1.75  3
Dp 
Ergun Equation

P Vs  1    V 1  
2 2
 150  1.75  3
s Dp  
s
x s Dp  
2 3

##  Sphericity term included

 Composed of known or obtainable
parameters
Minimum Fluidizing Velocity
 Ergun Equation solved simultaneously with force
balance.

P  x1     p   g 
 May assume that flow is laminar (NRe < 20)
(Equation reduces to laminar friction term)

D  p   g   
2 3 2

MFV 
p
 s

150  1   
Experimental Approach

## Figure 2: Example of fluidization bed

Determining MFV
 Change occurs in slope of pressure drop plot

## Figure 3: Plot of pressure drop vs. Fluid Velocity

Particle Properties
 Graduated cylinder for bed density
 Displaced volume for particle density

  bed 
  1   

 particle 
 Microscopic photos for sphericity
Experimental Procedure
 Glass Beads and Pulverized Coal
 Increase mass flowrate
 Measure pressure drop across bed
 Change temperature and repeat
 Determine fluid properties using
correlations and equations of state
Experimental Problems
 Poor Distribution
 Faulty or imprecise pressure gauges
 Difficulty in determining when fluidization
has been reached
Results
Pulverized Coal Results

## Figure 3: Microscopic photo of pulverized coal

Pulverized Coal Results (cont.)
4000

3500

3000

2500
ΔP (Pa)

Data
2000
Ergun Equation

1500

1000

500

0
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3
Vs (m/s)

Figure 4: Pressure drop data and Ergun Equation for pulverized coal at 26.2 °C
Pulverized Coal Results (cont.)
4000

3500

3000

2500
ΔP (Pa)

Data
2000
Ergun Equation

1500

1000

500

0
-0.05 0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
Vs (m/s)

Figure 5: Pressure drop data and Ergun Equation for pulverized coal at 32.8 °C
Pulverized Coal Results (cont.)
6000

5000

4000
ΔP (Pa)

Data
3000
Ergun Equation

2000

1000

0
-0.05 0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
Vs (m/s)

Figure 6: Pressure drop data and Ergun Equation for pulverized coal at 39.9 °C
Pulverized Coal Results (cont.)

## Example of results for pulverized coal

Glass Bead Results

## Figure 7: Microscopic photo of glass beads

Glass Bead Results (cont.)
20000

18000

16000

14000

12000
ΔP (Pa)

Data
10000
Ergun Equation
8000

6000

4000

2000

0
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
Vs (m/s)

Figure 8: Pressure drop data and Ergun Equation for glass beads at 30.0 °C
Glass Bead Results (cont.)
20000

15000

10000
ΔP (Pa)

Data
Ergun Equation
5000

-5000
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6
Vs (m/s)

Figure 9: Pressure drop data and Ergun Equation for glass beads at 37.8 °C
Glass Bead Results (cont.)
16000

14000

12000

10000
ΔP (Pa)

8000
Data
Ergun Equation
6000

4000

2000

-2000
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
Vs (m/s)

Figure 10: Pressure drop data and Ergun Equation for glass beads at 42.1 °C
Glass Bead Results (cont.)

## Example of results for glass beads

The Laminar Assumption
The Laminar Assumption (cont.)
 Reported to be accurate for Particle
Reynolds Numbers under 20
 More accurate as Reynolds Numbers get
smaller
 Typical values within 15-30% of Ergun
Equation
 Has no consistent relation to experimental
value
Experimental Summary
 Experimental determination is accurate
and necessary
 Difficult to determining exact value for
minimum fluidizing velocity
 Error in minimum fluidizing velocity
measurement based on test interval
Correlation Summary
 Provide a good estimate for actual fluidizing
velocity.
 Require difficult estimation of bed height and
void fraction for operation above minimum
fluidizing velocity.
 Ergun Equation can show unrealistic results, as
in this case.
 Decent estimation requires accurate particle
property values (void fraction and particle
density are difficult to determine due to
adsorption).
Conclusions
 Correlations are useful, but not substitute
for actual experimentation
 Experimentation necessary because of
inaccurate and imprecise instrumentation
 Correlations are useful for industrial
processes which are usually operated at
two to three times the minimum fluidizing
velocity
References
 de Nevers, Noel, Air Pollution Control
Engineering, 2nd ed. Mc-Graw Hill, New York
(2005).
 de Nevers, Noel, Fluid Mechanics for Chemical
Engineers, 3rd ed. Mc-Graw Hill, New York
(2005).
 Seader, J.D. and Henley, Ernest J., Separation
Process Principles, 2nd ed.Wiley, Danver,
Massachusetts (2006).
 Wikipedia, Sphericity,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphericity
Questions
 5 Minute Question Period