Comparison of fibre optical measurements and discrete element simulations for the study of granulation in a spout fluidized bed

J.M. Link, W. Godlieb, P. Tripp, N.G. Deen, S. Heinrich, M. Peglow, J. Kumar, J.A.M. Kuipers, M. Schönherr, L. Mörl

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

126 Downloads (Pure)


Spout fluidized beds are frequently used for the production of granules or particles through granulation. The products find application in a large variety of applications, for example detergents, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals and food. Spout fluidized beds have a number of advantageous properties, such as a high mobility of the particles, which prevents undesired agglomeration and yields excellent heat transfer properties. The particle growth mechanism in a spout fluidized bed as function of particle-droplet interaction has a profound influence on the particle morphology and thus on the product quality. Nevertheless, little is known about the details of the granulation process. This is mainly due to the fact that the granulation process is not visually accessible. In this work we use fundamental, deterministic models to enable the detailed investigation of granulation behaviour in a spout fluidized bed. A discrete element model is used describing the dynamics of the continuous gas-phase and the discrete droplets and particles. For each element momentum balances are solved. The momentum transfer among each of the three phases is described in detail at the level of individual elements. The results from the discrete element model simulations are compared with local measurements of particle volume fractions as well as particle velocities by using a novel fibre optical probe in a fluidized bed of 400 mm I.D. Simulations and experiments were carried out for two different cases using Geldart B type aluminium oxide particles: a freely bubbling fluidized bed and a spout fluidized bed with the presence of droplets. It is demonstrated how the discrete element model can be used to obtain information about the interaction of the discrete phases, i.e. the growth zone in a spout fluidized bed. Eventually this kind of information can be used to obtain closure information required in more coarse grained models.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2007
Event5th World Conference of Particle Technology, WCPT 2006: AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety - Orlando, United States
Duration: 23 Apr 200627 Apr 2006
Conference number: 5


Conference5th World Conference of Particle Technology, WCPT 2006
Abbreviated titleWCPT5
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Spout fluid bed
  • Fibre optical measurement
  • Discrete element model
  • Granulation


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of fibre optical measurements and discrete element simulations for the study of granulation in a spout fluidized bed'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this