(54ae) Simulation of Large Particle Turbulent Fluidization in Riser Reactors By Coarse Grain DEM-CFD

Di Renzo, A., University of Calabria
Di Maio, F. P., University of Calabria
The complex two-phase flow in the riser is an important element of many industrial circulating fluidized bed reactors. In some cases, e.g. gas-solid polymerization, relatively large particles are transported upward in a turbulent regime, in which the high gas velocity results mostly from heat removal requirements. Strong solids acceleration, radial and axial velocity profiles for both the gas and solid, intense clustering and inhomogeneities make it impossible to reliably predict the riser head or local bed density profile. Detailed numerical simulations proved capable of showing some of the peculiarities of the flow, but limitations in the scale, lack of grid independence, need for special drag corrections and sub-grid models still hinder confident use of such tools in design and scale-up, particularly in industrial applications characterized by particle size and Reynolds numbers that are not well covered by the available scientific literature.

In the present contribution, coupled Discrete Element Method-Computational Fluid Dynamics (DEM-CFD) simulations are carried out using a coarse graining technique for the solid particles. According to this method, small number of particles are grouped into a computational particle (parcel) and represented by it as a spherical "lump," to reduce the computational cost of the simulations and allow lab-scale systems to be represented in full detail. The investigation focuses on the influence of the coars-graining degree, i.e. the number of real particles represented by a parcel, on the simulated flow hydrodynamics both in terms of its advantages (a quantification of the computational savings) and disadvantage, primarily the real capability of the method to resolve the behaviour observed and produce results in line with experimental findings. The gas and solid motion are studied, with the aim to characterize the clustering phenomena observed during the up-flow and its effect on the pressure drop. Assuming prescribed gas and solid inlet velocity fields, the potential tendency to show core-annulus flow, the intensity of solids clustering and the local bed density within the riser are examined at different number of particles per parcel.