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Solid circulating velocity measurement in a liquid-solid micro-circulating fluidised bed

Lookup NU author(s): Orlando do Nascimento, Dr David Reay, Dr Vladimir Zivkovic



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Liquid–solid circulating fluidised beds (CFB) possess many qualities which makes them useful for industrial operations where particle–liquid contact is vital, e.g., improved heat transfer performance, and consequent uniform temperature, limited back mixing, exceptional solid-liquid contact. Despite this, circulating fluidised beds have seen no application in the micro-technology context. Liquid–solid micro circulating fluidised bed (µCFBs), which basically involves micro-particles fluidisation in fluidised beds within the bed of cross-section or inner diameter at the millimetre scale, could find potential applications in the area of micro-process and microfluidics technology. From an engineering standpoint, it is vital to know the solid circulating velocity, since that dictates the bed capability and operability as processing equipment. Albeit there are several studies on solid circulating velocity measurement in CFBs, this article is introducing the first experimental study on solid circulating velocity measurement in a CFB at micro-scale. The experimental studies were done in a novel micro-CFB which was fabricated by micro milling machining 1 mm2 cross-section channels in Perspex and in a 4 mm2 cross-section micro-CFB made by additive manufacturing technology. Soda-lime glass and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) micro-particles were employed as solid materials and tap water as the liquid medium. The digital particle image velocimetry (PIV) method was used as a measurement technique to determine the particle velocity in the micro-CFB system and validated by the valve accumulation technique using a novel magnetic micro-valve. The measured critical transition velocity, Ucr, is comparable to the particle terminal velocity, i.e., the normalised transition velocity is approximately 1 in line with macroscopic systems results and our previous study using simple visual observation. As in macroscopic CFB systems, Ucr decreased with solid inventory (1–9%) and finally becomes stable when the solid inventory is high enough (10–25%) and it increases with a reduction in particle size and density.

Publication metadata

Author(s): do Nascimento OL, Reay DA, Zivkovic V

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Processes

Year: 2020

Volume: 8

Issue: 9

Online publication date: 16/10/2020

Acceptance date: 10/09/2020

Date deposited: 27/10/2020

ISSN (electronic): 2227-9717

Publisher: MDPI


DOI: 10.3390/pr8091159


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