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Hydrodynamic Models for Packed Beds with Low Tube-to-Particle Diameter Ratio
1Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa, email@example.com
2Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa, firstname.lastname@example.org
Citation Information: International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering. Volume 6, Issue 1, Pages –, ISSN (Online) 1542-6580, DOI: 10.2202/1542-6580.1550, January 2008
- Published Online:
In the last decade it has been a special interest to incorporate the hydrodynamics in packed bed reactor models. This seems to be important in the case of highly exothermic partial oxidation reactions normally performed in packed beds with low tube/particle diameter ratio (dt/dp< 5) because of the large void distributions in the radial and axial directions, which have a direct impact on the magnitude of radial, angular and axial profiles of the velocity field, and consequently on both, the temperature and concentration profiles in the catalytic reactor. A successful reactor model needs an adequate hydrodynamic description of the packed bed, and for this reason several models additionally incorporate empirical expressions to describe radial voidage profiles, and use viscous (Darcy) and inertial (Forchheimer) terms to account for gas-solid interactions, via Ergun's pressure drop equation. In several cases an effective viscosity parameter has also been used with the Brinkman's viscous term. The use of these various approaches introduce some uncertainty in the predicted results, as to which extent the use of a particular radial voidage expression, or the use of an effective viscosity parameter, yield reliable predictions of measured velocity profiles.In this work the predictions of radial velocity profiles in a packed bed with low tube to particle diameter ratio from six hydrodynamic models, derived from a general one, are compared. The calculations show that the use of an effective viscosity parameter to predict experimental data can be avoided, if the magnitude of the two parameters in Ergun's equation, related to viscous and inertial energy losses, are re-estimated from velocity measurements, for this particular packed bed. The predictions using both approaches adequately fit the experimental data, although the results are analyzed and discussed.