CFD-DEM study of bubble properties in a cylindrical fluidized bed of Geldart Group D particles and comparison with prior MRI data
Numerical simulations of a freely bubbling cylindrical fluidized bed are carried out using a coupled computational fluid dynamics and discrete element method (CFD-DEM) model and compared to recent experimental data. The experiments were conducted using high-resolution and high-frequency magnetic resonance imaging providing high-fidelity data of the bubbling within a central 10 mm slice of the bed. Qualitatively, we find more regular (i.e., less chaotic) structures in the simulated beds than observed experimentally. Quantitatively, however, the bubble diameter and number of bubbles as a function of height within the bed is predicted well by the base model. Unfortunately, the regularity in the simulations manifests as a considerable discrepancy in the speed of the (dense) emulsion phase. The simulated velocity probability distribution functions show an accumulation of low-speed regions and deficiency of high-speed regions. A simple parametric study of the base model is also carried out considering many of the most common CFD-DEM modeling parameters. It is found that the fluid grid size, geometry resolution, transfer kernel and drag law did not have a significant effect on bubble or particle dynamics.