Description: Considerable progress has been achieved in understanding three-phase reactors from the point of view of kinetic theory. In a paper in press for publication in Chemical Engineering Science (Wu and Gidaspow, 1999) we have obtained a complete numerical solution of bubble column reactors. In view of the complexity of the simulation a better understanding of the processes using simplified analytical solutions is required. Such analytical solutions are presented in the attached paper, Large Scale Oscillations or Gravity Waves in Risers and Bubbling Beds. This paper presents analytical solutions for bubbling frequencies and standing wave flow patterns. The flow patterns in operating slurry bubble column reactors are not optimum. They involve upflow in the center and downflow at the walls. It may be possible to control flow patterns by proper redistribution of heat exchangers in slurry bubble column reactors. We also believe that the catalyst size in operating slurry bubble column reactors is not optimum. To obtain an optimum size we are following up on the observation of George Cody of Exxon who reported a maximum granular temperature (random particle kinetic energy) for a particle size of 90 microns. The attached paper, Turbulence of Particles in a CFB and Slurry Bubble Columns Using Kinetic Theory, supports George Cody's observations. However, our explanation for the existence of the maximum in granular temperature differs from that proposed by George Cody. Further computer simulations and experiments involving measurements of granular temperature are needed to obtain a sound theoretical explanation for the possible existence of an optimum catalyst size.
Date: September 1, 1999
Creator: Gamwo, Isaac K. & Gidaspow, Dimitri
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