Determination of the bubble-to-emulsion phase mass transfer coefficient in gas-solid fluidized beds using a non-invasive infra-red technique

J.A. Medrano Jimenez, F. Gallucci, F. Boccia, N. Alfano, M. van Sint Annaland

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The theoretical approach for the bubble-to-emulsion phase mass exchange in bubbling gas-solid fluidized beds developed by Davidson and Harrison in the early 60’s is still widely applied in phenomenological models, mainly because of lack of more detailed experimental data to improve the description. In this study a novel infrared transmission technique that allows the direct and non-invasive measurement of gas concentration profiles inside bubbles with a high temporal resolution has been used for the validation of the theoretical description for the gas exchange. At first, the experimental technique has been further improved concerning the selective removal of particles raining through the bubbles, as well as the reconstruction of tracer gas concentration profiles throughout the gas bubble. The bubble-to-emulsion phase mass transfer coefficients have been measured by injecting tracer gas bubbles into incipiently fluidized beds and beds at freely-bubbling conditions, for beds consisting of glass beads of different particle size and with different injected bubble diameters. The results show that the Davidson and Harrison approach can reasonably well describe the mass exchange for isolated bubbles injected into a bed at minimum fluidization conditions. However, experiments carried out in a freely bubbling bed have shown that the mass exchange rate is considerably enhanced due to the increased gas through-flow through the bubbles. An empirical correlation (with deviations within only 20%) for the volumetric bubble-to-emulsion phase mass transfer coefficient has been developed based on the bubble size and superficial gas velocity, where it is noted that in this work the convective contribution in the mass exchange is dominant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-414
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Bubble injection
  • Fluidized bed
  • IR technique
  • Mass transfer


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