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Experimental and numerical investigation of electrostatic effects in gas-solid fluidized beds

Nasro-Allah, Youssef. Experimental and numerical investigation of electrostatic effects in gas-solid fluidized beds. PhD, Dynamique des fluides, Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, 2019, 169 p.

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Gas-solid fluidized beds are widely used in industrial processes for energy such as chemical looping combustion, catalytic polymerization, solar receiver, biomass gasification and petroleum refinery. In all these processes, electrostatic forces were usually neglected. In polyolefin industry, the phenomena of electrostatic charges presents a major issues including wall fouling. At a molecular scale, the contact between two particles generates a transfer of electrons/ions, inducing a charge on each particle. As a result, the surrounding gas carries an electric field, resulting in an additional force to the momentum equation known as Lorentz force. The phenomenon depend on many parameters, including materials properties and operating conditions. Several works in literature studied the effect of each parameter. However, there is a lack of research projects which combine both experimental study and theoretical modelling with numerical simulation. Thus, this study falls within the context. It is a part of the Attractivity Chair BIREM (BIological, REacting, Multiphase flows) attributed to Professor Rodney Fox, financially supported by the University of Toulouse, in the framework of the IDEX research program. The project is hosted by the research federation FERMaT. The study aims to combine both experimental study in a lab-scale pilot and the numerical modelling in order to represent the electrostatic force in CFD code through the Euler-Euler formalism. In this work, experiments were performed on different particles size distributions, different materials and different operating conditions. The experimental setup, designed and built during the PhD thesis, consisted of a 1 m height and 0.1 m inner diameter plexiglass column. The measuring technique used for charge is a Faraday cup connected to an electrometer. Results shows two categories of particles: dropped particles that falls immediately after opening the valve and wall particles that stick to the wall. Results show no effect of relative humidity on minimum fluidization velocity (Umf). The evolution of the net charge versus fluidization time showed an exponential trend that reached an equilibrium value for both categories. Wall particles were charged 250 to 450 times than dropped ones. The net charge was decreased by increasing relative humidity. Small particles showed a positive charge whereas all other PSDs were negatively charged. The equilibrium charge of dropped particles did not show significant changes when increasing gas velocity whereas the time needed to reach equilibrium was slightly increased. Wall particles equilibrium charge was significantly increased. On the other hand, the numerical work built an electrostatic model for the Lorentz force in an Eulerian approach. Simulations were carried out with a software called NEPTUNE_CFD. The walls were assumed to be grounded. The model was tested with several test cases. After that, a tribocharging model was developed to take into account the charge generation and transfer. The model was inspired from previous works and transposed into an Eulerian approach. The wall boundary conditions were developed in this study by using less restrictive hypothesis. An estimation of the characteristic times of both charge generation and diffusion was performed, showing that the timescale is very high (several days) and does not match with experimental findings (15 to 20 min). A corrective coefficient was proposed to match with experimental results. Moreover, numerical simulations on a fluidized bed with the same dimensions as the experimental pilot were carried out. In these simulations, the permanent regime was considered. The equilibrium charge was prescribed on the particles. Simulations aimed to compare the no-charge case and the charged case. The effect of the charge on the flow properties were highlighted. These results pointed out the crucial effect of the electrostatic on the gas-particle fluidized suspension.

Item Type:PhD Thesis
Additional Information:Thèse soumise à l'embargo de l'auteur jusqu'au 31 janvier 2021
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Research Director:
Fox, Rodney O. and Ansart, Renaud
Deposited On:26 May 2020 10:00

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