Mixing Patterns and Residence Time Determination in a Bubbling Fluidized Bed System
A. E. Ghaly and K. N. MacDonald
DOI : 10.3844/ajeassp.2012.170.183
American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Volume 5, Issue 2
Fluidized bed gasification can be used to convert the solar energy stored as carboneous compounds in biomass into a carbon neutral fuel with reduced emissions. Canada produces 20.57 million tonnes of wheat straw annually which could be used for green energy production. Wheat straw residue gasification has the capability of replacing 7.5 % (0.62 EJ) of Canada’s annual fossil fuel consumption. To achieve efficient gasification in a fluidized bed proper fuel mixing and residence time must be achieved. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of sand particle size, distributor plate shape and angle, bed height and fluidizing velocity on particle mixing and residence time in the fluidized bed reactor. Greater values of the residence time were obtained with course sand whereas lower values were obtained with fine sand. An increase in the angle of convex or a decrease in the angle of a concave of the distributor plate resulted in an increase in the residence time. Both the concave and convex distributor plates achieved vertical upward and downward movements of the bed material resulting in continuous bed material turnover and, thus, good mixing. However, the concave plate achieved longer residence time which will result in better conversion efficiency. To improve the mixing properties of the binary mixture, which has great tendency for segregation due to density differences, an angled distributor plate (concave or convex) should be used. Considerable increases in the residence time were recorded with increases in the bed height. Increasing the fluidizing velocity decreased the residence time due to the increase in the bubble velocity. However, since the conversion efficiency is affected by the degree of mixing, it will also be improved by increasing the fluidization velocity. A velocity above 1.50 Umf is recommended for better fluidization and improved mixing.
© 2012 A. E. Ghaly and K. N. MacDonald. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.