(53d) 100 Years of Scaling up Fluidized Bed and Circulating Fluidized Bed Reactors | AIChE

(53d) 100 Years of Scaling up Fluidized Bed and Circulating Fluidized Bed Reactors


Chew, J. W. - Presenter, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Cocco, R., Particulate Solid Research, Inc.
The year 2022 marked the 100th anniversary of the commercialization of the fluidized bed reactor. In those years, many new processes have been developed, with many considered breakthrough technologies, replacing technologies that were no longer considered competitive. Fluidized beds have the advantages of superior heat transfer and the ability to continuously move solids during operation, along with a list of other attributes. As a result, processes spanning coal and biomass gasification, pyrolysis, fluidized catalyst cracking, acrylonitrile, polyethylene, oxychlorination, and polycrystalline silicon have prospered with the application of fluidized bed technology. Expect that list to continue with current efforts in chemical looping, plastic pyrolysis, methane pyrolysis, and propane dehydrogenation, to name a few.

During that same period, we saw engineering go from an incremental approach to a more fundamental one using sophisticated models and relevant cold-flow experimentation. That engineering work process is still changing. The onset of better computational platforms, models, and experimental techniques, combined with better statistical tools (e.g., machine learning), leads to better understanding of the underlying physics and enhanced control systems (e.g., artificial intelligence). This will allow for the application of fluidized bed technology using less capital and less operating costs, and also enable commercialization in less time.