Compressible-gas two-fluid modeling of isolated bubbles in a vertically vibrated fluidized bed and comparison with experiments

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In this work the size and motion of isolated bubbles in a vertically vibrated fluidized bed are numerically investigated by means of two-fluid model simulations. The oscillations of the bed bulk and the bubble diameter and velocity are compared with experimental results of a pseudo-2D bed using an averaging of cycles method to account for the intrinsic unsteadiness caused by vibration. The effects of gas compressibility and the air plenum of the vibrated bed are also numerically investigated. The results show that the two-fluid model simulations resorting to a compressible gas model are able to reproduce both the cyclic compression and expansion of the bed bulk and the bubble oscillations observed in the experiments. In contrast, the simulations with the incompressible gas model fail to reproduce these effects. The presence of the air plenum in the numerical model diminishes the amplitude of the bed and bubble oscillations and improves their resemblance to the experiments. In the simulations with compressible gas, a phase delay is found between the bed displacement and the oscillation of bubble characteristics. In harmony with experiments, the phase delay is smaller in the lower half of the bed (i.e. close to the distributor) than in the upper half. This effect is not reproduced by the simulations with incompressible gas-phase. These results suggest that the phase delay in vibrated beds is caused by the compression of the gas phase, which leads to compression-expansion waves traveling through the bed. The simulations also confirm that the amplitude of vibration influences the magnitude of the bubble diameter and velocity oscillations, whereas the delay of the bubble characteristics is mainly affected by the bed vibration frequency.
Fluidization, Two-fluid model, Bubble, Vibrated fluidized bed, Oscillation, Compressibility
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Chemical Engineering Journal, (2015), v. 271, pp.: 287-299.