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Characterizing the hydrodynamics of bubbling fluidized beds with multivariate measurements

C.S. Daw
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Knoxville TN 37932-6472

J.S. Halow
National Energy Technology Laboratory
Morgantown WV 26507-0880

C.E.A. Finney, K. Nguyen
University of Tennessee
Knoxville TN 37996-2210

Quantitative characterization of fluidized-bed hydrodynamics is important for process monitoring and validation of dynamic models. One expects that simultaneous measurements made at different locations should have inherent advantages over single-point measurements, but it is not necessarily obvious how such multivariate data can be used to the best advantage. In this study, we consider the situation where a limited number of sensor access points are available on a bubbling fluidized bed. We wish to use measurements from these sensors to make inferences about the fluidization state and the associated solids mixing, bubble flows, and characteristic times. An important underlying assumption is that there will typically be a few coherent patterns dominating the global motion of the emulsion and dispersed phases. Thus we expect that that we should be able to describe any particular bed condition in terms of a few key parameters. We illustrate our analytical methods and results using multivariate data from laboratory bubbling-bed measurements and simulations produced by the MFIX CFD code. In addition to demonstrating the dynamic similarities between the experiment and simulation, we use the two types of data to illustrate how simulations can be used to guide experiments and vice versa. We also report observations of apparently newly described phenomena in bubbling beds, including the presence of large-scale void and pressure fronts with different characteristic velocities.

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Daw CS, Halow JS, Finney CEA, Nguyen K (2000). Characterizing the hydrodynamics of bubbling fluidized beds with multivariate measurements. 2000 Annual Meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (Los Angeles, California USA; 2000 November 12-17), Paper 20e.
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