Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Wiltowski, Tomasz


This paper provides an analysis of a recently acquired fluidized bed reactor system developed by Parr Industries. The reactor is 1 m in length and has a diameter of 2.54 cm (1 in).The goal of this research was to characterize the reactor system in terms of fluidization rates of different catalyst particles in order to develop a baseline from which future fluidizing operations could be conducted. The Minimum fluidization velocity (Umf) was investigated for γ-alumina and glass bead particles under varying operating pressures and temperatures with both Nitrogen and syngas (2H2:CO) used as the fluidizing gas. The Umf was found to increase with increasing temperature and decrease with increasing pressure. A modified Ergun correlation for Umf was constructed to relate the experimental observations and the results are similar to those of other researchers. At high pressure conditions the occurrence of the Boudard reaction resulted in the inability to obtain accurate data. Calculated Umf values exhibited discrepancies at atmospheric pressure conditions when compared to the experimental Umf values. Umf values calculated with the Carman-Kozeny and modified Ergun equations were found to adequately predict the experimental Umf values. Discrepancies with the Ergun equation are most likely due to the inaccurate assumption that εmf is equal to the ε value corresponding to a packed bed.




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