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Computational Fluid Dynamics–Discrete Element Method (CFD-DEM) Study of Mass-Transfer Mechanisms in Riser Flow

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journal contribution
posted on 26.04.2017, 00:00 by Álvaro E. Carlos Varas, E. A. J. F. Peters, J. A. M. Kuipers
We report a computational fluid dynamics–discrete element method (CFD-DEM) simulation study on the interplay between mass transfer and a heterogeneous catalyzed chemical reaction in cocurrent gas-particle flows as encountered in risers. Slip velocity, axial gas dispersion, gas bypassing, and particle mixing phenomena have been evaluated under riser flow conditions to study the complex system behavior in detail. The most important factors are found to be directly related to particle cluster formation. Low air-to-solids flux ratios lead to more heterogeneous systems, where the cluster formation is more pronounced and mass transfer more influenced. Falling clusters can be partially circumvented by the gas phase, which therefore does not fully interact with the cluster particles, leading to poor gas–solid contact efficiencies. Cluster gas–solid contact efficiencies are quantified at several gas superficial velocities, reaction rates, and dilution factors in order to gain more insight regarding the influence of clustering phenomena on the performance of riser reactors.