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Approximating a Three-Dimensional Fluidized Bed With Two-Dimensional Simulations

[+] Author Affiliations
Mirka Deza, Francine Battaglia

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

Theodore J. Heindel

Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Paper No. IMECE2008-66378, pp. 387-394; 8 pages
  • ASME 2008 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 10: Heat Transfer, Fluid Flows, and Thermal Systems, Parts A, B, and C
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, October 31–November 6, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4871-5 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3840-2
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


Fluidized beds can be used to gasify biomass in the production of producer gas, a flammable gas that can replace natural gas in process heating. Modeling these reactors with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations is advantageous when performing parametric studies for design and scale-up. From a computational resource point of view, two-dimensional simulations are easier to perform than three-dimensional simulations, but they may not capture the proper physics. This paper will compare two- and three-dimensional simulations in a 10.2 cm diameter fluidized bed with side air injection to determine when two-dimensional simulations are adequate to capture the bed hydrodynamics. Simulations will be completed in a glass bead fluidized bed operating at 1.5Umf and 3Umf , where Umf is the minimum fluidization velocity. Side air injection is also simulated to model biomass injection for gasification applications. The simulations are compared to experimentally obtained time-averaged local gas holdup values using X-ray computed tomography. Results indicate that for the conditions of this study, two-dimensional simulations qualitatively predict the correct hydrodynamics and gas holdup trends that are observed experimentally for a limited range of fluidization conditions.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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