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  Cornell University

MAE Publications and Papers

Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

New article: Numerical Characterization and Modeling of Particle Clustering in Wall-bounded Vertical Risers

Article: Capecelatro J, Pepiot P, Desjardins O; (2014)  Numerical Characterization and Modeling of Particle Clustering in Wall-bounded Vertical Risers.  Chemical Engineering Journal, 245:295-310


Abstract:  This paper aims at investigating the capability of numerical models to accurately capture the physical characteristics of particle clustering in vertical risers. Within the energy sector, particle clustering in vertical risers of circulating fluidized bed reactors are known to play a key role in the multiphase dynamics as well as secondary processes such as catalytic conversion and heat transfer. Recent experiments suggest that particle clustering is most significant in the fully developed flow region of the riser, hence this study focuses on this region. To explore such flows, a high-fidelity large-eddy simulation framework is combined with a Lagrangian particle tracking solver to simulate statistically stationary gravity-driven risers in vertical pipes for a large range of Archimedes numbers. The walls of the reactor are modeled using a conservative immersed boundary scheme integrated with the Lagrangian particle tracking framework. A structure tracking algorithm akin to particle image velocimetry is used to accumulate statistics on individual clusters. Cluster descent velocities display excellent agreement with experimental measurements for the range of flow conditions considered. Predicted volume fraction fluctuations and mean solid concentration within the clusters also match experimental correlations. The probability distribution function of solid concentration and radial distribution function provide insight on the degree of clustering and the characteristic cluster length scale. The degree of particle clustering is found to be independent of the Archimedes number, and models for the volume fraction distribution are discussed. Statistics on the solid concentration and phase velocities for two- and three-dimensional configurations are compared, and the ramifications of simulating risers in two dimensions are discussed.

Published by Elsevier B.V.

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