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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Effect of operating conditions and particle properties on electrostatics and entrainment in gas-solid fluidized beds Al-Smari, Turki A


The effects of superfical gas velocity, pressure, and temperature on entrainment and electrostatic charge with glass beads and polyethylene as bed particles were investigated in a fluidization column of 0.15 m inner diameter and 2.0 m height. Four collision probes at different levels, a freeboard sampler, and a current detection pipe measured the electrostatics in the bed, freeboard, and column exit. The entrainment and electrostatic charge inside the bed and freeboard region increased as the superficial gas velocity or pressure increased. Temperature had negligible effect on the entrainment over the limited range studied. However, electrostatic charges decreased and the charge polarity reversed as the bed temperature increased from 20 to 75 °C. The calculated electrostatic forces resulting from fine-fine and fine-coarse particle interactions are comparable to the gravitational force on fine particles in the fluidized bed. Entrainment empirical correlations developed in this work showed much better performance after the effect of electrostatic forces was taken into account, with the entrainment flux deceasing as electrostatic forces increase. The Choi et al. (1999) entrainment correlation shows better prediction of the entrainment flux in our system after the effect of the electrostatic force is considered. The electrostatic charges in the bed decreased with increasing air relative humidity. The charge density of fines decreased and entrainment increased as the air relative humidity increased. The relative humdity had no effect on the charge density or entrainment of polyethylene particles, which can also probably be attributed to the hydrophobic nature of polyethylene. The magnitude of electrostatic charges generated inside the fluidized bed increased slightly as the size of the coarse particles decreased. The entrainment decreased as the coarse particle size decreased. The electrostatic charges increased and entrainment decreased as the coarse particle density increased. The magnitude of electrostatic charges generated inside the fluidized bed increased and entrainment decreased as the fine particle density increased. The electrostatic charges and entrainment also increased as the fine concentration increased. The fines concentration had little or no effect on fines charge densities. Bipolar charging was observed in all experiments with fine particles charged positively, whereas large particles were charged negatively.

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