Electric conductance method to study the contact of injected liquid with fluidized particles



A sensitive and reliable experimental technique was developed to assess the performance of gas-atomization nozzles injecting liquid into a gas-solid fluidized bed. Gas atomizers are used to inject liquid feeds into industrial fluid cokers, fluid catalytic crackers, and gas-phase polymerization reactors. In the fluid coking process, for example, both liquid yields and reactor operability are affected by how well the injected liquid contacts the fluidized particles. The new experimental method assesses the quality of the liquid-solid contact from the electric conductance of the bed solids wetted with the injected liquid. The validity of the method was corroborated by direct comparison with the results provided by alternative experimental techniques, as well as by numerical modeling of the evolution of the bed conductance for various types of liquid distribution within the bed solids. The electric conductance technique can help optimize liquid injection into fluidized beds. © 2008 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2008