Experimental and numerical investigation of structure and hydrodynamics in packed beds of spherical particles

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Abstract

In chemical industry, flows often occur in nontransparent equipment, for example in steel pipelines and vessels. Magnetic resonance imaging is a suitable approach to visualize the flow, which cannot be performed with classical optical techniques, and obtain quantitative data in such cases. It is therefore a unique tool to noninvasively study whole-field porosity and velocity distributions in opaque single-phase porous media flow. In this article, experimental results obtained with this technique, applied to the study of structure and hydrodynamics in packed beds of spherical particles, are shown and compared with detailed computational fluid dynamics simulations performed with an in-house numerical code based on an immersed boundary method-direct numerical simulation approach. Pressure drop and the radial profiles of porosity and axial velocity of the fluid for three packed beds of spheres with different sizes were evaluated, both experimentally and numerically, in order to compare the two approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1896-1907
Number of pages12
JournalAIChE Journal
Volume64
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

Keywords

  • direct numerical simulation
  • discrete element method
  • immersed boundary method
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • packed bed

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