Convective drying of particulate solids - Packed vs. fluid bed operation
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The paper addresses results for the case of convective drying of particulate solids in a packed and in a fluid bed, analyzing agreement between the numerical results and the results of corresponding experimental investigation, as well as the differences between packed and fluid bed operation. In the fluid bed simulation model of unsteady simultaneous one-dimensional heat and mass transfer between solids, gas phase and bubble phase during drying process, based on two-phase bubbling model, it is assumed that the gas-solid interface is at thermodynamic equilibrium. The basic idea is to calculate heat and mass transfer between gas and particles (i.e., the drying process) in suspension phase as for a packed bed of particles, where the drying rate (evaporated moisture flux) of the specific product is calculated by applying the concept of a drying coefficient. Mixing of the particles (i.e., the impact onto the heat and mass transfer coefficients) in the case of fluid bed is taken into account... by means of the diffusion term in the differential equations, using an effective particle diffusion coefficient. Model validation was done on the basis of the experimental data obtained with narrow fraction of poppy seeds characterized by mean equivalent particle diameter (d(s.d) = 0.75 mm), re-wetted with required (calculated) amount of water up to the initial moisture content (X-0 = 0.54) for all experiments. Comparison of the drying kinetics, both experimental and numerical, has shown that higher gas (drying agent) temperatures, as well as velocities (flow-rates), induce faster drying. This effect is more pronounced for deeper beds, because of the larger amount of wet material to be dried using the same drying agent capacity. Bed temperature differences along the bed height are significant inside the packed bed, while in the fluid bed, for the same drying conditions, are almost negligible due to mixing of particles. Residence time is shorter in the case of a fluid bed drying compared to a packed bed drying. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.