Conference Dates

May 16-21, 2010


The motion of a large object in a bubbling fluidized bed is experimentally studied using digital image analysis. A wide range of fluidized bed applications involves the motion of large objects within the bed, such objects being reactants, catalysts, agglomerates, etc.

The experiments were run in a 2D bubbling fluidized bed with glass spheres as bed material. The object motion is measured using tracking techniques, while independent measurements of the dense phase velocity (using PIV) and bubble velocity were carried out. The effect of the excess gas velocity on the object motion was also analyzed.

It is generally accepted that objects with densities in a range around the bed density will describe sinking-rising cycles throughout the whole bed, where the sinking motion is similar to that of the dense phase, and the rising motion is composed of a number of sudden jerks or jumps, as a result of the raising effect of passing bubbles. This work characterized the circulation patterns of an object with a density similar to that of the bed material, but much larger in size. A comparison between the object rising motion and the local bubble motion provided evidence for the study of the bubble ability to raise the object, depending on the bubble velocity and size. A comparison between the object sinking motion and the dense phase motion served to analyze the minor effect of buoyancy forces over the object sinking motion. Finally, the combined effects of the maximum attained depth and the number of jerks in the circulation time is studied, with some insight in the multiple-jerks phenomenon.