Description: Conversion and coating of particle nuclear fuel is performed in spouted (fluidized) bed reactors. The reactor must be capable of operating at temperatures up to 2000°C in inert, flammable, and coating gas environments. The spouted bed reactor geometry is defined by a graphite retort with a 2.5 inch inside diameter, conical section with a 60° included angle, and a 4 mm gas inlet orifice diameter through which particles are removed from the reactor at the completion of each run. The particles may range from 200 µm to 2 mm in diameter. Maintaining optimal gas flow rates slightly above the minimum spouting velocity throughout the duration of each run is complicated by the variation of particle size and density as conversion and/or coating reactions proceed in addition to gas composition and temperature variations. In order to achieve uniform particle coating, prevent agglomeration of the particle bed, and monitor the reaction progress, a spouted bed monitoring system was developed. The monitoring system includes a high-sensitivity, low-response time differential pressure transducer paired with a signal processing, data acquisition, and process control unit which allows for real-time monitoring and control of the spouted bed reactor. The pressure transducer is mounted upstream of the spouted bed reactor gas inlet. The gas flow into the reactor induces motion of the particles in the bed and prevents the particles from draining from the reactor due to gravitational forces. Pressure fluctuations in the gas inlet stream are generated as the particles in the bed interact with the entering gas stream. The pressure fluctuations are produced by bulk movement of the bed, generation and movement of gas bubbles through the bed, and the individual motion of particles and particle subsets in the bed. The pressure fluctuations propagate upstream to the pressure transducer where they can be monitored. Pressure fluctuation, ...
Date: June 1, 2007
Creator: Wendt, D. S.; Bewley, R. L. & Windes, W. E.
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