Chemical Engineering Science, Vol.173, 74-90, 2017
Influence of solids outlets and the gas inlet design on the generation of a gas-solids rotating fluidized bed in a vortex chamber for different types of particles
Two design aspects of vortex chambers for the generation of gas-solids rotating fluidized beds are experimentally studied for different types of particles: the solids outlet(s) and the gas inlets. Efficient solids retention and minimal solids losses via the chimney are aimed at so that the gas and solids residence times can be controlled independently. The importance of a strong vortex in the central particle bed freeboard region is demonstrated. It is shown that separate, well-dimensioned and -positioned solids outlets prevent a significant presence of particles in the freeboard region, increasing the vortex strength in this region. This is found to be particularly important when fluidizing small/light particles. The ratio centrifugal force-to-radial gas-solid drag force that is generated by the gas injection is shown to also have an important impact. Theoretically it is shown that this ratio strongly depends on the particle characteristics and to what extent it can be increased by increasing the gas injection velocity, preferentially by reducing the gas inlet slot size and otherwise the number of gas inlet slots. Experiments with different vortex chambers and particles qualitatively confirm the theoretical expectations, but show that limitations are encountered. A very high gas injection velocity prevents efficient penetration of especially fine/light particles in the gas inlet jets which is detrimental for the transfer of tangential momentum between the gas and the particle bed. Slots smaller than the particle size are also shown to be inefficient, as they generate rotational motion of the particles around their own center of gravity. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.