Commenced in January 2007
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Paper Count: 19

Search results for: fluidization

19 Simulation and Experimental Study on Dual Dense Medium Fluidization Features of Air Dense Medium Fluidized Bed

Authors: Cheng Sheng, Yuemin Zhao, Chenlong Duan

Abstract:

Air dense medium fluidized bed is a typical application of fluidization techniques for coal particle separation in arid areas, where it is costly to implement wet coal preparation technologies. In the last three decades, air dense medium fluidized bed, as an efficient dry coal separation technique, has been studied in many aspects, including energy and mass transfer, hydrodynamics, bubbling behaviors, etc. Despite numerous researches have been published, the fluidization features, especially dual dense medium fluidization features have been rarely reported. In dual dense medium fluidized beds, different combinations of different dense mediums play a significant role in fluidization quality variation, thus influencing coal separation efficiency. Moreover, to what extent different dense mediums mix and to what extent the two-component particulate mixture affects the fluidization performance and quality have been in suspense. The proposed work attempts to reveal underlying mechanisms of generation and evolution of two-component particulate mixture in the fluidization process. Based on computational fluid dynamics methods and discrete particle modelling, movement and evolution of dual dense mediums in air dense medium fluidized bed have been simulated. Dual dense medium fluidization experiments have been conducted. Electrical capacitance tomography was employed to investigate the distribution of two-component mixture in experiments. Underlying mechanisms involving two-component particulate fluidization are projected to be demonstrated with the analysis and comparison of simulation and experimental results.

Keywords: air dense medium fluidized bed, particle separation, computational fluid dynamics, discrete particle modelling

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18 Numerical Study of Bubbling Fluidized Beds Operating at Sub-atmospheric Conditions

Authors: Lanka Dinushke Weerasiri, Subrat Das, Daniel Fabijanic, William Yang

Abstract:

Fluidization at vacuum pressure has been a topic that is of growing research interest. Several industrial applications (such as drying, extractive metallurgy, and chemical vapor deposition (CVD)) can potentially take advantage of vacuum pressure fluidization. Particularly, the fine chemical industry requires processing under safe conditions for thermolabile substances, and reduced pressure fluidized beds offer an alternative. Fluidized beds under vacuum conditions provide optimal conditions for treatment of granular materials where the reduced gas pressure maintains an operational environment outside of flammability conditions. The fluidization at low-pressure is markedly different from the usual gas flow patterns of atmospheric fluidization. The different flow regimes can be characterized by the dimensionless Knudsen number. Nevertheless, hydrodynamics of bubbling vacuum fluidized beds has not been investigated to author’s best knowledge. In this work, the two-fluid numerical method was used to determine the impact of reduced pressure on the fundamental properties of a fluidized bed. The slip flow model implemented by Ansys Fluent User Defined Functions (UDF) was used to determine the interphase momentum exchange coefficient. A wide range of operating pressures was investigated (1.01, 0.5, 0.25, 0.1 and 0.03 Bar). The gas was supplied by a uniform inlet at 1.5Umf and 2Umf. The predicted minimum fluidization velocity (Umf) shows excellent agreement with the experimental data. The results show that the operating pressure has a notable impact on the bed properties and its hydrodynamics. Furthermore, it also shows that the existing Gorosko correlation that predicts bed expansion is not applicable under reduced pressure conditions.

Keywords: computational fluid dynamics, fluidized bed, gas-solid flow, vacuum pressure, slip flow, minimum fluidization velocity

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17 Physical Tests on Localized Fluidization in Offshore Suction Bucket Foundations

Authors: Li-Hua Luu, Alexis Doghmane, Abbas Farhat, Mohammad Sanayei, Pierre Philippe, Pablo Cuellar

Abstract:

Suction buckets are promising innovative foundations for offshore wind turbines. They generally feature the shape of an inverted bucket and rely on a suction system as a driving agent for their installation into the seabed. Water is pumped out of the buckets that are initially placed to rest on the seabed, creating a net pressure difference across the lid that generates a seepage flow, lowers the soil resistance below the foundation skirt, and drives them effectively into the seabed. The stability of the suction mechanism as well as the possibility of a piping failure (i.e., localized fluidization within the internal soil plug) during their installation are some of the key questions that remain open. The present work deals with an experimental study of localized fluidization by suction within a fixed bucket partially embedded into a submerged artificial soil made of spherical beads. The transient process, from the onset of granular motion until reaching a stationary regime for the fluidization at the embedded bucket wall, is recorded using the combined optical techniques of planar laser-induced fluorescence and refractive index matching. To conduct a systematic study of the piping threshold for the seepage flow, we vary the beads size, the suction pressure, and the initial depth for the bucket. This experimental modelling, by dealing with erosion-related phenomena from a micromechanical perspective, shall provide qualitative scenarios for the local processes at work which are missing in the offshore practice so far.

Keywords: fluidization, micromechanical approach, offshore foundations, suction bucket

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16 Assessment of Fluid Flow Hydrodynamics for Cylindrical and Conical Fluidized Bed Reactor

Authors: N. G. Thangan, A. B. Deoghare, P. M. Padole

Abstract:

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) aids in modeling the prototype of a real world processes. CFD approach is useful in predicting the fluid flow, heat transfer mass transfer and other flow related phenomenon. In present study, hydrodynamic characteristics of gas-solid cylindrical fluidized bed is compared with conical fluidized beds. A 2D fluidized bed consists of different configurations of particle size of iron oxide, bed height and superficial velocities of nitrogen. Simulations are performed to capture the complex physics associated with it. The Eulerian multiphase model is prepared in ANSYS FLUENT v.14 which is used to simulate fluidization process. It is analyzed with nitrogen as primary phase and iron oxide as secondary phase. The bed hydrodynamics is assessed prominently to examine effect on fluidization time, pressure drop, minimum fluidization velocity, and gas holdup in the system.

Keywords: fluidized bed, bed hydrodynamics, Eulerian multiphase approach, computational fluid dynamics

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15 Unified Gas-Kinetic Scheme for Gas-Particle Flow in Shock-Induced Fluidization of Particles Bed

Authors: Zhao Wang, Hong Yan

Abstract:

In this paper, a unified-gas kinetic scheme (UGKS) for the gas-particle flow is constructed. UGKS is a direct modeling method for both continuum and rarefied flow computations. The dynamics of particle and gas are described as rarefied and continuum flow, respectively. Therefore, we use the Bhatnagar-Gross-Krook (BGK) equation for the particle distribution function. For the gas phase, the gas kinetic scheme for Navier-Stokes equation is solved. The momentum transfer between gas and particle is achieved by the acceleration term added to the BGK equation. The new scheme is tested by a 2cm-in-thickness dense bed comprised of glass particles with 1.5mm in diameter, and reasonable agreement is achieved.

Keywords: gas-particle flow, unified gas-kinetic scheme, momentum transfer, shock-induced fluidization

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14 The Implementation of a Numerical Technique to Thermal Design of Fluidized Bed Cooler

Authors: Damiaa Saad Khudor

Abstract:

The paper describes an investigation for the thermal design of a fluidized bed cooler and prediction of heat transfer rate among the media categories. It is devoted to the thermal design of such equipment and their application in the industrial fields. It outlines the strategy for the fluidization heat transfer mode and its implementation in industry. The thermal design for fluidized bed cooler is used to furnish a complete design for a fluidized bed cooler of Sodium Bicarbonate. The total thermal load distribution between the air-solid and water-solid along the cooler is calculated according to the thermal equilibrium. The step by step technique was used to accomplish the thermal design of the fluidized bed cooler. It predicts the load, air, solid and water temperature along the trough. The thermal design for fluidized bed cooler revealed to the installation of a heat exchanger consists of (65) horizontal tubes with (33.4) mm diameter and (4) m length inside the bed trough.

Keywords: fluidization, powder technology, thermal design, heat exchangers

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13 Correlation to Predict the Effect of Particle Type on Axial Voidage Profile in Circulating Fluidized Beds

Authors: M. S. Khurram, S. A. Memon, S. Khan

Abstract:

Bed voidage behavior among different flow regimes for Geldart A, B, and D particles (fluid catalytic cracking catalyst (FCC), particle A and glass beads) of diameter range 57-872 μm, apparent density 1470-3092 kg/m3, and bulk density range 890-1773 kg/m3 were investigated in a gas-solid circulating fluidized bed of 0.1 m-i.d. and 2.56 m-height of plexi-glass. Effects of variables (gas velocity, particle properties, and static bed height) were analyzed on bed voidage. The axial voidage profile showed a typical trend along the riser: a dense bed at the lower part followed by a transition in the splash zone and a lean phase in the freeboard. Bed expansion and dense bed voidage increased with an increase of gas velocity as usual. From experimental results, a generalized model relationship based on inverse fluidization number for dense bed voidage from bubbling to fast fluidization regimes was presented.

Keywords: axial voidage, circulating fluidized bed, splash zone, static bed

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12 Bubbling in Gas Solids Fluidization at a Strouhal Number Tuned for Low Energy Dissipation

Authors: Chenxi Zhang, Weizhong Qian, Fei Wei

Abstract:

Gas solids multiphase flow is common in many engineering and environmental applications. Turbulence and multiphase flows are two of the most challenging topics in fluid mechanics, and when combined they pose a formidable challenge, even in the dilute dispersed regime. Dimensionless numbers are important in mechanics because their constancy can imply dynamic similarity between systems, despite possible differences in medium or scale. In the fluid mechanics literature, the Strouhal number is usually associated with the dimensionless shedding frequency of a von Karman wake; here we introduce this dimensionless number to investigate bubbling in gas solids fluidization. St=fA/U, which divides stroke frequency (f) and amplitude (A) by forward speed (U). The bubble behavior in a large two-dimensional bubbling fluidized bed (500mm×30mm×6000mm) is investigated. Our result indicates that propulsive efficiency is high and energy dissipation is low over a narrow range of St and usually within the interval 0.2Keywords: bubbles, Strouhal number, two-phase flow, energy dissipation

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11 Effect of Fluidized Granular Activated Carbon for the Mitigation of Membrane Fouling in Wastewater Treatment

Authors: Jingwei Wang, Anthony G. Fane, Jia Wei Chew

Abstract:

The use of fluidized Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) as a means of mitigation membrane fouling in membrane bioreactors (MBRs) has received much attention in recent years, especially in anaerobic fluidized bed membrane bioreactors (AFMBRs). It has been affirmed that the unsteady-state tangential shear conferred by GAC fluidization on membrane surface suppressed the extent of membrane fouling with energy consumption much lower than that of bubbling (i.e., air sparging). In a previous work, the hydrodynamics of the fluidized GAC particles were correlated with membrane fouling mitigation effectiveness. Results verified that the momentum transfer from particle to membrane held a key in fouling mitigation. The goal of the current work is to understand the effect of fluidized GAC on membrane critical flux. Membrane critical flux values were measured by a vertical Direct Observation Through the Membrane (DOTM) setup. The polystyrene particles (known as latex particles) with the particle size of 5 µm were used as model foulant thus to give the number of the foulant on the membrane surface. Our results shed light on the positive effect of fluidized GAC enhancing the critical membrane flux by an order-of-magnitude as compared to that of liquid shear alone. Membrane fouling mitigation was benefitted by the increasing of power input.

Keywords: membrane fouling mitigation, liquid-solid fluidization, critical flux, energy input

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10 Design and Evaluation of a Fully-Automated Fluidized Bed Dryer for Complete Drying of Paddy

Authors: R. J. Pontawe, R. C. Martinez, N. T. Asuncion, R. V. Villacorte

Abstract:

Drying of high moisture paddy remains a major problem in the Philippines, especially during inclement weather condition. To alleviate the problem, mechanical dryers were used like a flat bed and recirculating batch-type dryers. However, drying to 14% (wet basis) final moisture content is long which takes 10-12 hours and tedious which is not the ideal for handling high moisture paddy. Fully-automated pilot-scale fluidized bed drying system with 500 kilograms per hour capacity was evaluated using a high moisture paddy. The developed fluidized bed dryer was evaluated using four drying temperatures and two variations in fluidization time at a constant airflow, static pressure and tempering period. Complete drying of paddy with ≥28% (w.b.) initial MC was attained after 2 passes of fluidized-bed drying at 2 minutes exposure to 70 °C drying temperature and 4.9 m/s superficial air velocity, followed by 60 min ambient air tempering period (30 min without ventilation and 30 min with air ventilation) for a total drying time of 2.07 h. Around 82% from normal mechanical drying time was saved at 70 °C drying temperature. The drying cost was calculated to be P0.63 per kilogram of wet paddy. Specific heat energy consumption was only 2.84 MJ/kg of water removed. The Head Rice Yield recovery of the dried paddy passed the Philippine Agricultural Engineering Standards. Sensory evaluation showed that the color and taste of the samples dried in the fluidized bed dryer were comparable to air dried paddy. The optimum drying parameters of using fluidized bed dryer is 70 oC drying temperature at 2 min fluidization time, 4.9 m/s superficial air velocity, 10.16 cm grain depth and 60 min ambient air tempering period.

Keywords: drying, fluidized bed dryer, head rice yield, paddy

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9 Effect of Equivalence Ratio on Performance of Fluidized Bed Gasifier Run with Sized Biomass

Authors: J. P. Makwana, A. K. Joshi, Rajesh N. Patel, Darshil Patel

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Recently, fluidized bed gasification becomes an attractive technology for power generation due to its higher efficiency. The main objective pursued in this work is to investigate the producer gas production potential from sized biomass (sawdust and pigeon pea) by applying the air gasification technique. The size of the biomass selected for the study was in the range of 0.40-0.84 mm. An experimental study was conducted using a fluidized bed gasifier with 210 mm diameter and 1600 mm height. During the experiments, the fuel properties and the effects of operating parameters such as gasification temperatures 700 to 900 °C, equivalence ratio 0.16 to 0.46 were studied. It was concluded that substantial amounts of producer gas (up to 1110 kcal/m3) could be produced utilizing biomass such as sawdust and pigeon pea by applying this fluidization technique. For both samples, the rise of temperature till 900 °C and equivalence ratio of 0.4 favored further gasification reactions and resulted into producer gas with calorific value 1110 kcal/m3.

Keywords: sized biomass, fluidized bed gasifier, equivalence ratio, temperature profile, gas composition

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8 Improvement of Model for SIMMER Code for SFR Corium Relocation Studies

Authors: A. Bachrata, N. Marie, F. Bertrand, J. B. Droin

Abstract:

The in-depth understanding of severe accident propagation in Generation IV of nuclear reactors is important so that appropriate risk management can be undertaken early in their design process. This paper is focused on model improvements in the SIMMER code in order to perform studies of severe accident mitigation of Sodium Fast Reactor. During the design process of the mitigation devices dedicated to extraction of molten fuel from the core region, the molten fuel propagation from the core up to the core catcher has to be studied. In this aim, analytical as well as the complex thermo-hydraulic simulations with SIMMER-III code are performed. The studies presented in this paper focus on physical phenomena and associated physical models that influence the corium relocation. Firstly, the molten pool heat exchange with surrounding structures is analysed since it influences directly the instant of rupture of the dedicated tubes favouring the corium relocation for mitigation purpose. After the corium penetration into mitigation tubes, the fuel-coolant interactions result in formation of debris bed. Analyses of debris bed fluidization as well as sinking into a fluid are presented in this paper.

Keywords: corium, mitigation tubes, SIMMER-III, sodium fast reactor

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7 Some Accuracy Related Aspects in Two-Fluid Hydrodynamic Sub-Grid Modeling of Gas-Solid Riser Flows

Authors: Joseph Mouallem, Seyed Reza Amini Niaki, Norman Chavez-Cussy, Christian Costa Milioli, Fernando Eduardo Milioli

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Sub-grid closures for filtered two-fluid models (fTFM) useful in large scale simulations (LSS) of riser flows can be derived from highly resolved simulations (HRS) with microscopic two-fluid modeling (mTFM). Accurate sub-grid closures require accurate mTFM formulations as well as accurate correlation of relevant filtered parameters to suitable independent variables. This article deals with both of those issues. The accuracy of mTFM is touched by assessing the impact of gas sub-grid turbulence over HRS filtered predictions. A gas turbulence alike effect is artificially inserted by means of a stochastic forcing procedure implemented in the physical space over the momentum conservation equation of the gas phase. The correlation issue is touched by introducing a three-filtered variable correlation analysis (three-marker analysis) performed under a variety of different macro-scale conditions typical or risers. While the more elaborated correlation procedure clearly improved accuracy, accounting for gas sub-grid turbulence had no significant impact over predictions.

Keywords: fluidization, gas-particle flow, two-fluid model, sub-grid models, filtered closures

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6 Performance of an Improved Fluidized System for Processing Green Tea

Authors: Nickson Kipng’etich Lang’at, Thomas Thoruwa, John Abraham, John Wanyoko

Abstract:

Green tea is made from the top two leaves and buds of a shrub, Camellia sinensis, of the family Theaceae and the order Theales. The green tea leaves are picked and immediately sent to be dried or steamed to prevent fermentation. Fluid bed drying technique is a common drying method used in drying green tea because of its ease in design and construction and fluidization of fine tea particles. Major problems in this method are significant loss of chemical content of the leaf and green appearance of tea, retention of high moisture content in the leaves and bed channeling and defluidization. The energy associated with the drying technology has been shown to be a vital factor in determining the quality of green tea. As part of the implementation, prototype dryer was built that facilitated sequence of operations involving steaming, cooling, pre-drying and final drying. The major findings of the project were in terms of quality characteristics of tea leaves and energy consumption during processing. The optimal design achieved a moisture content of 4.2 ± 0.84%. With the optimum drying temperature of 100 ºC, the specific energy consumption was 1697.8 kj.Kg-1 and evaporation rate of 4.272 x 10-4 Kg.m-2.s-1. The energy consumption in a fluidized system can be further reduced by focusing on energy saving designs.

Keywords: evaporation rate, fluid bed dryer, maceration, specific energy consumption

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5 Characterization of Candlenut Shells and Its Application to Remove Oil and Fine Solids of Produced Water in Nutshell Filters of Water Cleaning Plant

Authors: Annur Suhadi, Haris B. Harahap, Zaim Arrosyidi, Epan, Darmapala

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Oilfields under waterflood often face the problem of plugging injectors either by internal filtration or external filter cake built up inside pore throats. The content of suspended solids shall be reduced to required level of filtration since corrective action of plugging is costly expensive. The performance of nutshell filters, where filtration takes place, is good using pecan and walnut shells. Candlenut shells were used instead of pecan and walnut shells since they were abundant in Indonesia, Malaysia, and East Africa. Physical and chemical properties of walnut, pecan, and candlenut shells were tested and the results were compared. Testing, using full-scale nutshell filters, was conducted to determine the oil content, turbidity, and suspended solid removal, which was based on designed flux rate. The performance of candlenut shells, which were deeply bedded in nutshell filters for filtration process, was monitored. Cleaned water outgoing nutshell filters had total suspended solids of 17 ppm, while oil content could be reduced to 15.1 ppm. Turbidity, using candlenut shells, was below the specification for injection water, which was less than 10 Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU). Turbidity of water, outgoing nutshell filter, was ranged from 1.7-5.0 NTU at various dates of operation. Walnut, pecan, and candlenut shells had moisture content of 8.98 wt%, 10.95 wt%, and 9.95 wt%, respectively. The porosity of walnut, pecan, and candlenut shells was significantly affected by moisture content. Candlenut shells had property of toluene solubility of 7.68 wt%, which was much higher than walnut shells, reflecting more crude oil adsorption. The hardness of candlenut shells was 2.5-3 Mohs, which was close to walnut shells’ hardness. It was advantage to guarantee the cleaning filter cake by fluidization process during backwashing.

Keywords: candlenut shells, filtration, nutshell filter, pecan shells, walnut shells

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4 Engineering Study on the Handling of Date Palm Fronds to Reduce Waste and Used as Energy Environmentally Friendly Fuel

Authors: Ayman H. Amer Eissa, Abdul Rahman O. Alghannam

Abstract:

The agricultural crop residuals are considered one of the most important problems faced by the environmental life and farmers in the world. A study was carried out to evaluate the physical characteristics of chopped date palm stalks (fronds and leaflets). These properties are necessary to apply normal design procedures such as pneumatic conveying, fluidization, drying, and combustion. The mechanical treatment by cutting, crushing or chopping and briquetting processes are the primary step and the suitable solution for solving this problem and recycling these residuals to be transformed into useful products. So the aim of the present work to get a high quality for agriculture residues such as date palm stalks (fronds), date palm leaflets briquettes. The results obtained from measuring the mechanical properties (average shear and compressive strength) for date palm stalks at different moisture content (12.63, 33.21 and 60.54%) was (6.4, 4.7 and 3.21MPa) and (3.8, 3.18 and 2.86MPa) respectively. The modulus of elasticity and toughness were evaluated as a function of moisture content. As the moisture content of the stalk regions increased the modulus of elasticity and toughness decreased indicating a reduction in the brittleness of the stalk regions. Chopped date palm stalks (palm fronds), date palm leaflets having moisture content of 8, 10 and 12% and 8, 10 and 12.8% w.b. were dandified into briquettes without binder and with binder (urea-formaldehyde) using a screw press machine. Quality properties for briquettes were durability, compression ratio hardness, bulk density, compression ratio, resiliency, water resistance and gases emission. The optimum quality properties found for briquettes at 8 % moisture content and without binder. Where the highest compression stress and durability were 8.95, 10.39 MPa and 97.06 %, 93.64 % for date palm stalks (palm fronds), date palm leaflets briquettes, respectively. The CO and CO2 emissions for date palm stalks (fronds), date palm leaflets briquettes were less than these for loose residuals.

Keywords: residues, date palm stalks, chopper, briquetting, quality properties

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3 Organic Rejection and Membrane Fouling with Inorganic Alumina Membrane for Industrial Wastewater Treatment

Authors: Rizwan Ahmad, Soomin Chang, Daeun Kwon, Jeonghwan Kim

Abstract:

Interests in an inorganic membrane are growing rapidly for industrial wastewater treatment due to its excellent chemical and thermal stability over polymeric membrane. Nevertheless, understanding of the membrane rejection and fouling rate caused by the deposit of contaminants on membrane surface and within membrane pores through inorganic porous membranes still requires much attention. Microfiltration alumina membranes were developed and applied for the industrial wastewater treatment to investigate rejection efficiency of organic contaminant and membrane fouling at various operational conditions. In this study, organic rejection and membrane fouling were investigated by using the alumina flat-tubular membrane developed for the treatment of industrial wastewaters. The flat-tubular alumina membranes were immersed in a fluidized membrane reactor added with granular activated carbon (GAC) particles. Fluidization was driven by recirculating a bulk industrial wastewater along membrane surface through the reactor. In the absence of GAC particles, for hazardous anionic dye contaminants, functional group characterized by the organic contaminant was found as one of the main factors affecting both membrane rejection and fouling rate. More fouling on the membrane surface led to the existence of dipolar characterizations and this was more pronounced at lower solution pH, thereby improving membrane rejection accordingly. Similar result was observed with a real metal-plating wastewater. Strong correlation was found that higher fouling rate resulted in higher organic rejection efficiency. Hydrophilicity exhibited by alumina membrane improved the organic rejection efficiency of the membrane due to the formation of hydrophilic fouling layer deposited on it. In addition, less surface roughness of alumina membrane resulted in less fouling rate. Regardless of the operational conditions applied in this study, fluidizing the GAC particles along the surface of alumina membrane was very effective to enhance organic removal efficiency higher than 95% and provide an excellent tool to reduce membrane fouling. Less than 0.1 bar as suction pressure was maintained with the alumina membrane at 25 L/m²hr of permeate set-point flux during the whole operational periods without performing any backwashing and chemical enhanced cleaning for the membrane.

Keywords: alumina membrane, fluidized membrane reactor, industrial wastewater, membrane fouling, rejection

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2 CFD-DEM Modelling of Liquid Fluidizations of Ellipsoidal Particles

Authors: Esmaeil Abbaszadeh Molaei, Zongyan Zhou, Aibing Yu

Abstract:

The applications of liquid fluidizations have been increased in many parts of industries such as particle classification, backwashing of granular filters, crystal growth, leaching and washing, and bioreactors due to high-efficient liquid–solid contact, favorable mass and heat transfer, high operation flexibilities, and reduced back mixing of phases. In most of these multiphase operations the particles properties, i.e. size, density, and shape, may change during the process because of attrition, coalescence or chemical reactions. Previous studies, either experimentally or numerically, mainly have focused on studies of liquid-solid fluidized beds containing spherical particles; however, the role of particle shape on the hydrodynamics of liquid fluidized beds is still not well-known. A three-dimensional Discrete Element Model (DEM) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) are coupled to study the influence of particles shape on particles and liquid flow patterns in liquid-solid fluidized beds. In the simulations, ellipsoid particles are used to study the shape factor since they can represent a wide range of particles shape from oblate and sphere to prolate shape particles. Different particle shapes from oblate (disk shape) to elongated particles (rod shape) are selected to investigate the effect of aspect ratio on different flow characteristics such as general particles and liquid flow pattern, pressure drop, and particles orientation. First, the model is verified based on experimental observations, then further detail analyses are made. It was found that spherical particles showed a uniform particle distribution in the bed, which resulted in uniform pressure drop along the bed height. However for particles with aspect ratios less than one (disk-shape), some particles were carried into the freeboard region, and the interface between the bed and freeboard was not easy to be determined. A few particle also intended to leave the bed. On the other hand, prolate particles showed different behaviour in the bed. They caused unstable interface and some flow channeling was observed for low liquid velocities. Because of the non-uniform particles flow pattern for particles with aspect ratios lower (oblate) and more (prolate) than one, the pressure drop distribution in the bed was not observed as uniform as what was found for spherical particles.

Keywords: CFD, DEM, ellipsoid, fluidization, multiphase flow, non-spherical, simulation

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1 Investigation of a Single Feedstock Particle during Pyrolysis in Fluidized Bed Reactors via X-Ray Imaging Technique

Authors: Stefano Iannello, Massimiliano Materazzi

Abstract:

Fluidized bed reactor technologies are one of the most valuable pathways for thermochemical conversions of biogenic fuels due to their good operating flexibility. Nevertheless, there are still issues related to the mixing and separation of heterogeneous phases during operation with highly volatile feedstocks, including biomass and waste. At high temperatures, the volatile content of the feedstock is released in the form of the so-called endogenous bubbles, which generally exert a “lift” effect on the particle itself by dragging it up to the bed surface. Such phenomenon leads to high release of volatile matter into the freeboard and limited mass and heat transfer with particles of the bed inventory. The aim of this work is to get a better understanding of the behaviour of a single reacting particle in a hot fluidized bed reactor during the devolatilization stage. The analysis has been undertaken at different fluidization regimes and temperatures to closely mirror the operating conditions of waste-to-energy processes. Beechwood and polypropylene particles were used to resemble the biomass and plastic fractions present in waste materials, respectively. The non-invasive X-ray technique was coupled to particle tracking algorithms to characterize the motion of a single feedstock particle during the devolatilization with high resolution. A high-energy X-ray beam passes through the vessel where absorption occurs, depending on the distribution and amount of solids and fluids along the beam path. A high-speed video camera is synchronised to the beam and provides frame-by-frame imaging of the flow patterns of fluids and solids within the fluidized bed up to 72 fps (frames per second). A comprehensive mathematical model has been developed in order to validate the experimental results. Beech wood and polypropylene particles have shown a very different dynamic behaviour during the pyrolysis stage. When the feedstock is fed from the bottom, the plastic material tends to spend more time within the bed than the biomass. This behaviour can be attributed to the presence of the endogenous bubbles, which drag effect is more pronounced during the devolatilization of biomass, resulting in a lower residence time of the particle within the bed. At the typical operating temperatures of thermochemical conversions, the synthetic polymer softens and melts, and the bed particles attach on its outer surface, generating a wet plastic-sand agglomerate. Consequently, this additional layer of sand may hinder the rapid evolution of volatiles in the form of endogenous bubbles, and therefore the establishment of a poor drag effect acting on the feedstock itself. Information about the mixing and segregation of solid feedstock is of prime importance for the design and development of more efficient industrial-scale operations.

Keywords: fluidized bed, pyrolysis, waste feedstock, X-ray

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