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Keywords:

  • gas–solid fluidized beds;
  • bubble;
  • emulsion;
  • discrete bubble modeling;
  • bubble interaction

Abstract

A phenomenological discrete bubble model has been developed for freely bubbling dense gas–solid fluidized beds and validated for a pseudo-two-dimensional fluidized bed. In this model, bubbles are treated as distinct elements and their trajectories are tracked by integrating Newton's equation of motion. The effect of bubble–bubble interactions was taken into account via a modification of the bubble velocity. The emulsion phase velocity was obtained as a superposition of the motion induced by individual bubbles, taking into account bubble–bubble interaction. This novel model predicts the bubble size evolution and the pattern of emulsion phase circulation satisfactorily. Moreover, the effects of the superficial gas velocity, bubble–bubble interactions, initial bubble diameter, and the bed aspect ratio have been carefully investigated. The simulation results indicate that bubble–bubble interactions have profound influence on both the bubble and emulsion phase characteristics. Furthermore, this novel model may become a valuable tool in the design and optimization of fluidized-bed reactors. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2012