Gas-solid-liquid fluidization, or three-phase fluidization has industrial importance in a number of applications. This experiment examines two hydrodynamic relationships; the phase holdup and the minimum fluidization velocity.
The first objective of this experiment was to investigate solid, liquid and gas holdups in the fluidized bed at varying liquid and gas flow rates using 5.0mm and 1.2mm glass beads. The second objective of this experiment was to investigate the minimum fluidization velocity for a bed of 5.0mm beads and a mix of bead sizes (50% of 5.0mm, 50% of 1.2mm). Results obtained from both experimental objectives are compared to respective empirical correlations.
The experiment was conducted using a 2.75m vertical column with an inner diameter of 0.15m. 5.0mm and 1.2mm glass beads were used as the solid phase and were fluidized with various water and air velocities. This column was connected to several pressure taps allowing for pressure differential determination at specified points along the column’s length.
It was determined that the liquid holdup results for both the 1.2mm and 5mm beads agreed with literature; there was an increase in liquid holdup as the liquid velocity increased and a corresponding decrease in solid holdup. However, the results obtained for gas holdup did not correspond to the trends observed in literature. The observed minimum fluidization liquid velocities with a constant gas velocity were consistently lower than calculated values for the 5mm and the mixed (average diameter of 3.1mm) bed of particles.
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