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Investigation of nonuniformity in a liquid–solid fluidized bed with identical parallel channels



Previous work has demonstrated that multiphase flow through identical parallel channels and multiple cyclones can give rise to significant nonuniformity among the flow paths. This article presents results from a study where the distribution of voidage and flux through parallel channels in liquid–solid fluidized beds is investigated. Experiments and computational fluid dynamics simulations were performed with 1.2 mm glass beads fluidized by water where a cross baffle divided a 191 mm diameter column into four identical parallel channels. Voidages were measured by optical fiber probes. Simulations from a three-dimensional unsteady-state Eulerian–Eulerian model based on FLUENT software showed good agreement with the experimental results. Despite the symmetrical geometry of the system, the average voidage and particle velocities in one channel differed somewhat from those in the others. Increasing the superficial liquid velocity could increase voidage greatly and affect the degree of nonuniformity in the four channels. © 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2009