(54af) Numerical Study of Particles Shape Effects on Solid-Liquid Fluidizations

Zhou, Z. - Presenter, Monash University
Abbaszadeh Molaei, E., Monash University
Numerical study of particles shape effects on solid-liquid fluidizations

Esmaeil Abbaszadeh Molaei, Zongyan Zhou*

Laboratory for Simulation and Modelling of Particulate Systems, Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia

Solid-liquid fluidizations have been observed in many industries due to their high heat and mass transfer rate, high operation flexibilities, and reduced back mixing of fluid and solid phases. In most of these multiphase operations, particle properties such as size, density, and shape may experience significant changes during the process because of attrition, coalescence, comminution or chemical reactions. The difference in particle properties can result in significant segregation problem in liquid fluidized beds. To gain an understanding of solid-liquid fluidisation behaviour, most existing studies, either experimentally or numerically, have focused on solid flow behaviour with mono-sized particles or binary and ternary mixtures with different particle sizes or densities. In spite of substantial studies on the hydrodynamics of liquid fluidized beds, the effects of particles shape on the solid-liquid flow behaviour are still less reported. Except for two physical experiments, the previous studies considered particles as spheres, and few studies have been remarked on liquid fluidization of non-spherical particles. However, particles are generally irregular in most of the processes such as ore beneficiations using liquid-solid fluidized beds separator. Particle shape can cause different flow behaviour in liquid fluidizations rather than that observed for ideal spherical particles. Nonetheless, the answers to some fundamental questions such as how and why particle shape affects flow phenomena are not clear, and hence still poorly understood.

Therefore, in this work, a combination of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and discrete element model (DEM) [CFD-DEM] is used to examine the effects of particle shape on the flow characteristics in liquid fluidizations. In the simulations, ellipsoidal particles are used as they can represent a wide range of particle shapes from oblate to prolate particles. Different aspect ratios are employed, and results are analysed mainly in terms of particle flow patterns, pressure drop, and bed expansion. In addition, force and particle orientation analysis is also conducted to examine the effect of particle shape and explain the occurrence of entrainment phenomenon.

The results show that ellipsoidal particles intend to enter to freeboard region and entrainment phenomenon occurs, and consequently, the interface between the bed and freeboard cannot be observed clearly. In addition, the pressure gradient variation with bed height is uniform for spheres; however, this uniformity is replaced with “distorted parentheses-shape” profile for disc-shape and elongated particles. Finally, bed expansion analyses show that spherical particles have the lowest bed expansion. On the other hand, disc-shape particles intend to expand more significantly than spherical and elongated particles. This causes the entrainment phenomenon which has been found to be due to the effects of particles shape on particles terminal velocity.

* Corresponding author. Tel: 61 3 9905 0846; email: zongyan.zhou@monash.edu.