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, J.A.M. Kuipers, M. Schönherr, M. Peglow

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    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 three different cases using Geldart B type aluminium oxide particles: a freely bubbling fluidized bed; a spout fluidized bed without the presence of droplets 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
    Title of host publication3rd International Granulation Workshop, 27-29 June 2007, Sheffield, United Kingdom
    PublisherUniversity of Sheffield
    Number of pages37
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2007
    Event3rd International Granulation Workshop 2007 - University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom
    Duration: 27 Jun 200729 Jun 2007
    Conference number: 3


    Conference3rd International Granulation Workshop 2007
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


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