Rheological effects of a gas fluidized bed emulsion on falling and rising spheres
Journal article, 2021

To enable the mechanistic description of the mixing of larger particles in gas-fluidized beds in models (e.g. fuel particles in combustors), knowledge about the rheology of the bed emulsion is required. Here, it is crucial to determine the drag on large fuel-alike particles. This work presents the experimental work on the fate of 13 different solid spheres falling or rising through a bed of air and glass beads at minimum fluidization. The trajectories of the tracer are highly resolved (sampling rate of 200 Hz) by means of magnetic particle tracking, this previously unmet accuracy allows disclosing the complex rheological behavior of gas-solids fluidized bed emulsions in terms of drag on immersed objects. The trajectories reveal that none of the tracers reach terminal velocity during their fall and rise through the bed. The shear stress is obtained through the drag force by solving the equation of motion for the tracer. The data reveal particularities of the bed rheology and clear differences of its effect on rising and falling particles. When studying the shear stress over the characteristic shear rate of each tracer, it can be seen that the stress of the bed on the tracers is dominated by a yield stress, with a somewhat smaller contribution of the shear stress. For rising tracers this last contribution is almost negligible. The falling tracers show strong interaction with the bed emulsion, resulting in a fluctuating shear stress, which increases with tracer size and density. The stagnation of some tracers at low shear rates reveals a viscoplastic behavior of the bed emulsion, exhibiting a typical yield stress that showing a clear dependence on the tracer diameter and buoyant density. The concept of yield gravity is used in order to introduce a normalized shear stress which provides additional verification of the experimental observations in relation to the influence of tracer size and relative density on the shear stress.

Yield stress

Gas-solid fluidization

Magnetic particle tracking

Minimum fluidization

Viscoplastic rheology

Falling/rising spheres


Anna Köhler

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Diana Carolina Guío-Pérez

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Anna Prati

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Michele Larcher

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

David Pallarès

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Powder Technology

0032-5910 (ISSN) 1873-328X (eISSN)

Vol. 393 510-518

Enhanced performance in thermal conversion of biomass

Swedish Energy Agency (38347-2), 2017-05-02 -- 2019-10-30.

Subject Categories

Geophysical Engineering

Applied Mechanics

Other Materials Engineering



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