A novel technique for particle tracking in cold 2-dimensional fluidized beds simulating fuel dispersion
Journal article, 2006
This paper presents a novel technique for particle tracking in 2-dimensional fluidized beds operated under ambient conditions. The method is applied to study the mixing mechanisms of fuel particles in fluidized beds and is based on tracking a phosphorescent tracer particle by means of video recording with subsequent digital image analysis. From this, concentration, velocity and dispersion fields of the tracer particle can be obtained with high accuracy. Although the method is restricted to 2-dimensional, it can be applied under flow conditions qualitatively resembling a fluidized-bed combustor. Thus, the experiments cover ranges of bed heights, gas velocities and fuel-to-bed material density and size ratios typical for fluidized-bed combustors. Also, several fluidization regimes (bubbling, turbulent, circulating and pneumatic) are included in the runs. A pattern found in all runs is that the mixing pattern of the tracer (fuel) solids is structured in horizontally aligned vortexes induced by the bubble flow. The main bubble paths always give a low concentration of tracer solids and with the tracer moving upwards, while the downflow of tracer particles in the dense bottom bed is found to take place in zones with low bubble density and at the sidewalls. The amount of bed material (bed height) has a strong influence on the bottom bed dynamics (development and coalescence of bubbles) and, consequently, on the solids mixing process. Local dispersion coefficients reach maximum values around the locations of bubble eruptions, while, in the presence of a dense bottom bed, an increase in fluidization velocity or amount of bed material enhances dispersion. Dispersion is found to be larger in the vertical than in the horizontal direction, confirming the critical character of lateral fuel dispersion in fluidized-bed combustors of large cross section.
Digital image analysis