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Azimuthal and radial flow patterns of 1g-Geldart B-type particles in a gas-solid vortex reactor

Gonzalez-Quiroga, Arturo, Kulkarni, Shekhar R., Vandewalle, Laurien, Perreault, Patrice, Goel, Chitrakshi, Heynderickx, Geraldine J., Van Geem, Kevin M., Marin, Guy B.
Powder technology 2019 v.354 pp. 410-422
aerodynamics, aluminum, digital images, friction, gases, heat transfer, image analysis, momentum, particle image velocimetry, powders, walnut hulls
Processes requiring intensive interfacial momentum, mass and heat exchange between gases and particulate solids can be greatly enhanced by operating in a centrifugal field. This is realized in the Gas-Solid Vortex Reactor (GSVR) with centrifugal accelerations up to two orders of magnitude higher than the Earth's gravitational acceleration. Here, the flow patterns of two 1g-Geldart B-type particles are experimentally assessed, over the gas inlet velocity range 82–126 m s⁻¹, in an 80 mm diameter and 15 mm height GSVR. The particles are monosized aluminum spheres of 0.5 mm diameter, and walnut shell in the sieve fraction 0.50–0.56 mm and aspect ratio 1.3 ± 0.2. Two dimensional Particle Image Velocimetry combined with Digital Image Analysis and pressure measurements revealed that periodic fluctuations in solids azimuthal and radial velocity between gas inlet slots are strongly related to the average solids azimuthal velocity and bed uniformity. Aluminum particles feature steeper changes in azimuthal velocity and more attenuated changes in radial velocity than walnut shell particles. Within the assessed gas inlet velocity range the solids bed of aluminum exhibits average azimuthal velocities and bed voidages 40–50% and ≈10% lower than those of walnut shell. The aerodynamic response time of the particles, i.e. ρₛdₚ²/18μg, emerged as an important parameter to assess the influence of the carrier gas jet on the radial deflection of the particles and the interaction solids bed-outer wall. Too low aerodynamic response time relates to nonuniformity in bed voidage due to solids radial velocity fluctuations. Excessive aerodynamic response time indicates low solids azimuthal velocities due to solids bed-outer wall friction.