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Keywords:

  • chemical reactors;
  • packed bed;
  • simulation;
  • voidage;
  • fluid velocity distribution

Abstract

For beds comprised randomly arranged nonspherical particles, the prediction and understanding of the packing characteristics and subsequent fluid flow through the resulting porous media is a longstanding problem for chemical and process engineers. This paper presents the application of a digital modeling approach to particle packing, in which no more than elementary physical concepts are used, with the model using collision points to predict trends in bed structures of particles of different geometry. Lattice Boltzmann modeling (LBM), coupled to the output of the packing model, is used to subsequently assess velocity distribution through the generated structures. Simulation results are compared with data available from the literature, as a means of model validation, where it is demonstrated that the combined approach of the digital packing algorithm and LBM provide a modeling capability that is of value to a range of engineering applications. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2012