Study of Electrostatic Charging and Particle Wall Fouling in a Pilot-scale Pressurized Gas-Solid Fluidized Bed up to Turbulent Flow Regime

Title: Study of Electrostatic Charging and Particle Wall Fouling in a Pilot-scale Pressurized Gas-Solid Fluidized Bed up to Turbulent Flow Regime
Authors: Song, Di
Date: 2017
Abstract: In gas-solid fluidized beds, the generation of electrostatic charges due to continuous contacts between fluidizing particles, and the particles and the fluidization vessel wall, is unavoidable. Industrial operations, such as the production of polyethylene, are susceptible to significant operational challenges caused by electrostatics including reactor wall fouling, a problem known as “sheeting”. The formation of particle sheets can require shutdown periods for clean-up which results in significant economic losses. To gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of electrostatic charging in gas-solid fluidized beds, in an attempt to eliminate or minimize this problem, a pilot-scale pressurized gas-solid fluidization system was designed and built, housing an online electrostatic charge measurement technique consisting of two Faraday cups. The system permits the study of the degree of particle wall fouling at pressures and temperatures up to 2600 kPa and 100°C, respectively, and gas velocities up to 1 m/s (covering a range including turbulent flow regime). The system also allowed, for the first time, the measurement of the fluidizing particles’ mass, net charge and size distribution in various regions of the bed, especially those related to the wall coating under the industrially relevant operating conditions of high pressures and gas velocities. Experimental trials were carried out using polyethylene resin received from commercial reactors to investigate the influence of pressure and gas velocity on the bed hydrodynamics and in turn, the degree of bed electrification. Mechanisms for particle charging, migration and adherence to the column wall were proposed. The size distribution of the gas bubbles shifted towards smaller bubbles as the operating pressure was raised. Thus, higher pressures lead to greater mixing within the bulk of the bed and resulted in a higher degree of particle wall fouling. Moreover, the extent of wall fouling increased linearly with the increase in gas velocity and as the bed transitioned to turbulent regime, due to the increase in particle-wall contacts. Bipolar charging was observed especially within the wall coating with smaller particles being negatively charged. Overall, particle-wall contacts generated negatively charged particles resulting in a net negative charge in the bed, whereas particle-particle contacts generated positively and negatively charged particles resulting in no net charge when entrainment was negligible. The formation of the wall layer and its extent was influenced by the gravitational and drag forces balancing the image force and Coulomb forces (created by the net charge of the bed and the metallic column wall as the attraction between oppositely charged particles).
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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