Effect of superficial gas velocity on the particle temperature distribution in a fluidized bed with heat production

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The heat transfer behavior of particles and gas in an olefin polymerization fluidized bed was numerically analyzed using an in-house developed 3-D computational fluid dynamics discrete element model (CFD-DEM). First the implementation of the model was verified by comparing simulation results with analytical results. A constant volumetric heat production rate was implemented in the particle energy equation to mimic the heat production due to the polymerization reaction. It was found that the probability density function (PDF) of the particle temperature becomes more homogeneous with increasing superficial gas velocity. Furthermore, instantaneous snapshots of the thermal driving force (the difference between the single particle temperature and bed-average gas temperature, Tp−<Tg>) for different heat production rates provide detailed insight in the particle temperature distribution inside the fluidized bed. The time- and bed-averaged particle convective heat transfer coefficient, which was calculated by Gunn׳s correlation, was found to be independent of the superficial gas velocity. This is explained by the fact that the relative velocity of gas and particles in the emulsion phase, where most of the particles and gas interact, is hardly influenced when increasing the gas superficial velocity. From the spatial distribution of Nusselt number, it becomes apparent that the high heat transfer regions are found in the wake of rising bubbles, whereas low heat transfer rates are found in the clouds of the bubbles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-290
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2016


  • Gas-solid fluidized beds
  • Discrete element model
  • Heat production
  • Numerical simulation
  • Olefin polymerization


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