(95n) Effect of Particle Size Distribution and Operating Parameters on Conduction and Convection Heat Transfer Mechanisms in Rotary Drums
Granular materials undergo process steps that include transportation, drying, heating and chemical or physical conversion. In several instances, these materials need to be heated or cooled during processing, and rotary drums (kilns) are the most commonly used process equipment for this purpose. It is not always possible to conduct experiments using different materials and consider all process conditions to study the thermal mechanism due to the inherent complexity of these processes. Therefore, computational modeling and simulations have been extensively used to understand the heat transfer mechanism in rotary drums. To maintain simplicity and to overcome the challenges of simulating polydispersed particles, a common practice is to assume that the polydispersed particles with a narrow size distribution behave like monodispersed particles thermally. However, no effort has been made to validate this assumption. This work focuses on understating the effect of polydispersed particles on the conduction and convection heat transfer mechanisms in indirectly heated rotary drums. It also aims to investigate the effect of rotation speed, fill level, particle size and their interaction effects on the conduction and convection heat transfer mechanisms in rotary drums. For this, the discrete element method (DEM) (using MFIX-DEM, an open-source computational fluid dynamics solver suite) simulation technique is used to analyze the thermal behavior of spherical silica beads, which are the most common catalyst support material.