Unsteady and steady-state particle size distributions in batch and continuous fluidized bed granulation systems
A two-dimensional balance model of populations distributed by property was developed using the ordinates of particle diameter and particle density. This model makes it possible to calculate the spectrums of granulation changing over time in the fluidized bed during batch operation and in addition to calculate the time-dependent size distribution of the product granulate for continuous operation. A physics-based model was devised for the submechanism of the growth of the granulates. On the one hand, the population balance model is divided into the particle balance around the granulator and, on the other hand, when granulation is continuous, particles are constantly removed from the fluidized bed. To this end, a separator model was used that subdivides the extractor device into two areas of balancing in accordance with the geometry of the apparatus and the properties of the particle. In the case of continuous operation, the results when the product is classified using a classifier tube inside the fluidized bed are discussed. The outcome is the influence of the various particle flows on the particle diameter and the product mass withdrawn. In particular, the problematic nature of the start-up is dealt with, i.e. reaching stable points of steady operation. The simulation results are validated using results from continuous tests on a semi-industrial plant.