Conference Dates

May 22-27, 2016


The main mechanism of solids mixing in bubbling fluidized beds is well understood. When a bubble rises through the bed, it carries a wake of particles to the bed surface. A downflow of solids exists in the region surrounding the rising bubbles, resulting on an overall convective circulation of particles in the axial direction (1).

In this work, a new method to characterize solids mixing in a 2D fluidized bed is developed. This mixing index is able to macroscopically characterize the rate of mixing in a fluidized bed by means of DIA. The mixing index is analogous to the Lacey’s mixing index of particle mixing (2). The experiments are carried out in a pseudo-2D fluidized bed using glass beads as bed material. These glass beads have the same density and diameter but half of them are painted in black (Figure-1). At the beginning of each experiment, the particles are placed in a perfectly lateral segregated state and then the fluidizing air is suddenly injected while images are recorded.

Two different regions are detected in the time evolution of the mixing index. The first one is a region with a fast convective mixing, where the initial boundary between the black and white particles is broken. The second one is a region where diffusive mixing is dominant and the particles clusters are mixed with the bulk following an exponential trend (Figure-1). These two mechanisms, as well as the overall mixing time are characterized for different superficial gas velocities and particle sizes.


  1. M.J. Rhodes, X.S. Wang, M. Nguyen, P. Stewart, K. Liffman. Study of mixing in gas-fluidized beds using DEM model. Chem. Eng. Sci., 56(8):2859-2866, 2001.
  2. P.M.C. Lacey. Developments in the theory of particle mixing. J. Appl. Chem., 4:257-268, 1954.

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