Fluidization of spherical versus elongated particles - experimental investigation using X-ray tomography

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In many industrial applications, particles used in fluidized bed clearly deviate from ideal spheres. This leads to an increasing need for better understanding and developing better simulation models for fluidization of non-spherical particles. So far, the literature is quite scarce when it comes to experimental results which can be used for validation of numerical models. Also, the exact difference in fluidization behavior between spherical and elongated particles in dense fluidizing conditions is not well understood. In this work, we apply X-ray tomography to compare the fluidization behavior of a bed of a Geldart D-type spherical particles of aspect ratio 4 to that of volume equivalent spherocylindrical particles for different gas velocities. Even though the beds of both spherical and elongated particles are operating in the slugging regime, due their size and high bed height to width ratio, we see clear differences in their fluidization behavior. Our results indicate that the bed of elongated particles is slugging less than the one with spherical particles. This is indicated by a lower average bubble size in the case of elongated particles, together with a higher bubble rise velocity. The bed of elongated particles has a considerably higher distribution of small and medium bubbles. The slug waiting time distribution and slug frequency distribution indicate that a bed of elongated particles periodically switches between slugging and turbulent fluidization, unlike the bed of spherical particles which remains in the constant slugging regime.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125203
Number of pages12
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Elongated particles
  • Fluidization
  • Geldart D
  • Slugging
  • X-ray tomography

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