Hydrodynamics Simulation of Geldart A Particles in Fluidized Beds

Accurate modelling of various fluidization regimes


  • Efficient, accurate hydrodynamic predictions with less computational resources than other competitive models 
  • Applicable to all fluidization regimes
  • No need for scaling factors or empirical correlations to capture correct hydrodynamic behavior
  • Validated vs. experimental values
  • Customizable solutions

Technology Details

Many chemical engineering applications involve multiphase flow, which is extremely challenging to model due to the interactions between different phases and the interplay of various mechanisms. The inaccuracy of conventional two-fluid modeling (TFM) of hydrodynamics in fluidized beds containing Geldart A particles is widely known. Fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) is one of the most important conversion processes in petroleum refining. Accurate prediction of hydrodynamic behavior of fluid flow inside the gas-solid fluidized reactors enables troubleshooting of existing units and optimization of future designs.

Researchers at the Fluidization Research Centre at The University of British Columbia (UBC) have developed a new structure based force-balance (FB) subgrid scale model [1]. Unlike commonly-used models in process engineering, the FB model is non-empirical and can be applied to all fluidization regimes. Because it incorporates the effect of particle topology, such as particle asperity, in calculating inter-particle forces, the FB model delivers comprehensive and reliable results for a wide range of operating conditions [2], where competitive models may fail to capture the correct hydrodynamics.

The UBC model is coded in ANSYS Fluent and can be integrated in various applications of the commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) program. This allows for highly customizable models. Specific interfaces for different application needs can be built as well.