Pressure Effect on Hydrodynamics of a High Pressure X-ray Transparent Polyethylene Fluidized Bed

Orta, A., Wu, B., Guerrero, A., Ghods, M., Bellehumeur, C. and Kantzas, A.

DOI: 10.2202/1542-6580.2722 ; ISSN: 1542-6580
International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering, 9(01)
October 2011
Pages ?


Hydrodynamics of a polyethylene fluidized bed were studied at different operating pressures (191-2908 kPa) and constant temperature of 30°C. Minimum fluidization velocity (Umf) decreased with increasing of operating pressures. Measured Umf agree well with calculated Umf as derived from the standard deviation of pressure fluctuations using Puncochar’s Method (1985). As expected, with the increase of superficial velocity, amplitude and standard deviation of pressure fluctuation series also increase, which is indication of more vigorous bubbling behavior inside the bed. Power spectral density of pressure fluctuation series indicates similar frequency distribution of the bubbling behavior at different superficial velocities. The dominant frequency from the power spectral was found to be around 1 Hz. Bubble diameter and bubble velocity were estimated from X-ray fluoroscopy images. Bubble diameter and bubble velocity increase with increasing bed height and superficial gas velocity due to bubble coalescence and more gas flowing upwards. At the same fluidization number, the average bubble size slightly decreases with increasing pressure at all bed heights because there is less gas flowing and the bubbles coalesce less rapidly. The bubble velocity is observed to have a small decrease from 191 kPa up to 2200 kPa, and then a substantial increase due to the fact that at higher pressure, the solid circulation increases at the bed.

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