UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Electromagnetic induction sensing of individual tracer particles in a circulating fluidized bed Goldblatt, William M.


Understanding the trajectories of particulate solids inside a flow-through reactor, such as the riser of a recirculating fluidized bed, is a basic requisite to accurately modelling the reactor. However, these trajectories, which are complicated by gross internal recirculation, are not readily measurable. Conventional means of measuring the residence time distribution can be applied to closed boundaries, such as the exit of the riser. Doing so, however, does not directly provide the details of the trajectories within the riser. In order to determine these trajectories, meaningful measurements must be made at the open boundaries between the adjacent axial regions which, in total, make up the riser. Transient tracer concentration measurements at open boundaries are ambiguous because, as tracer material recirculates past the sensor, its concentration is repeatedly recorded, with no distinction as to which region (above or below the boundary) it has just resided in. A method designed to eliminate this ambiguity at open boundaries is reported in this thesis. By repeatedly introducing single tracer particles into the riser, and measuring the time of passage through each axial region, the residence time distributions for each region can be obtained from the frequency density of these times. The crux of this approach is being able to sense individual tracer particles. The major thrust of this investigation has been to find a practical means to this end. The final sensor considered in this investigation is based on electromagnetic induction: a magnetic primary field induces an eddy current in a conductive tracer particle, and the resulting secondary field is sensed, indicating the presence of the tracer particle in the sensing volume. Noise, resulting from direct coupling between transmitter and receiver coils, electrostatics, and vibrations, determines the sensitivity of the device. The final prototype sensor is limited in sensitivity to relatively large tracer particles, and it is incapable of measuring tracer velocity. Nevertheless, the trajectory of large particles is of practical significance for circulating fluidized beds. Limited tests were conducted in a 0.15 m ID x 9.14 m tall acrylic riser where the tracer particles were injected opposite the solids re-entry point, and were sensed by a single sensor located at an open boundary 7.5 m downstream. At each of the two superficial gas velocities considered, and above a threshold solids flux, the time-of-flight frequency density between the injector and the sensor for these large tracer particles does not change with increasing flux of the fine solids. This result is incongruous with obvious changes in the macro-flow structure occurring in the riser. Recommended changes in the sensor would allow measurement of the direction and speed of the tracer, as it passes by the sensor, as well as potentially reducing noise. With these improvements, it would be useful to install multiple sensors along the full length of the riser. The information obtainable from such a configuration would greatly enhance understanding of the detailed trajectories within the riser.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.