Interactive Realtime Simulation of a Lab-Scale Circulating Fluidized Bed - an Example of Virtual Process Engineering
Virtual process engineering refers to the research and development of chemical processes using computer simulation a virtual-reality style. That is, the simulations should run at realtime or quasi-realtime speed so that the users can actually operate the simulated system using a virtual reality interface. Such a computational speed is, however, not easily obtained in traditional simulation methods and computer hardware. In this talk, a coarse-grained discrete particle method (CG-DPM) based on the energy minimization multi-scale (EMMS) model, EMMS-DPM, is introduced briefly, together with an efficient parallel computing strategy using CPU(central processing unit)-GPU(graphics processing unit) heterogeneous architecture, which enables interactive simulation of a pilot-scale circulating fluidized bed (CFB). With this capability, hours of physical time may only take days to cover in the simulations and some slow processes, such as particle agglomeration and attrition, deactivation of catalysis and wall wearing, are feasible for direct simulation. This capability also enables detailed dynamic simulation for a network of reactors instead of a single one, suggesting a revolutionary tool for fundamental research, designing, optimization and training in chemical engineering.