Analysis of the effect of small amounts of liquid on gas–solid fluidization using CFD-DEM simulations



Gas–solid fluidization involving small amounts of liquid is simulated using a CFD-DEM model. The model tracks the amount of liquid on each particle and wall element and incorporates finite rates of liquid transfer between particles and pendular liquid bridges which form between two particles as well as between a particle and a wall element. Viscous and capillary forces due to these bridges are modeled. Fluidization–defluidization curves show that minimum fluidization velocity and defluidized bed height increase with Bond number (Bo), the ratio of surface tension to gravitational forces, due to cohesion and inhomogeneous flow structures. Under fluidized conditions, hydrodynamics and liquid bridging behavior change dramatically with increasing Bo, and to a lesser extent with capillary number, the ratio of viscous to surface tension forces. Bed fluidity is kept relatively constant across wetting conditions when one maintains a constant ratio of superficial velocity to minimum fluidization velocity under wet conditions. © 2017 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 63: 5290–5302, 2017