Solids mixing and segregation in a gas spout-fluid bed: effect of the distributor design
This work is concerned with the assessment of a newer version of the spout-fluid bed where the gas is supplied from a common plenum and the distributor controls the operational phenomenon. Thus the main body of the work deals with the effect of the distributor design on the mixing and segregation of solids in a spout-filled bed. The effect of distributor design in the conventional fluidised bed and of variation of the gas inlet diameter in a spouted bed were also briefly investigated for purpose of comparison. Large particles were selected for study because they are becoming increasingly important in industrial fluidised beds but have not been thoroughly investigated. The mean particle diameters of the fraction ranged from 550 to 2400 mm, and their specific gravity from 0.97 to 2.45. Only work carried out with binary systems is reported here. The effect of air velocity, particle properties, bed height, the relative amount of jetsam and flotsam and initial conditions on the steady-state concentration profiles were assessed with selected distributors. The work is divided into three sections. Sections I and II deal with the fluidised bed and spouted bed systems. Section III covers the development of the spout-filled bed and its behaviour with reference to distributor design and it is shown how benefits of both spouting and fluidising phenomena can be exploited. In the fluidisation zone, better mixing is achieved by distributors which produce a large initial bubble diameter. Some common features exist between the behaviour of unidensity jetsam-rich systems and different density flotsam-rich systems. The shape factor does not seem to have an affect as long as it is only restricted to the minor component. However, in the case of the major component, particle shape significantly affects the final results. Studies of aspect ratio showed that there is a maximum (1.5) above which slugging occurs and the effect of the distributor design is nullified. A mixing number was developed for unidensity spherical rich systems, which proved to be extremely useful in quantifying the variation in mixing and segregation with changes in distributor design.