Fluidized bed technology can be used for pyrolysis and gasification of solid fuel particles such as biomass, which is important to industry because of its potential as an alternative for petroleum-based fuels. To efficiently utilize a fluidized bed reactor it is necessary, among other factors, to investigate the mixing and segregation behavior of the fuel particles with the bed material. In order to characterize the material distribution, a technique to visualize the biomass inside a fluidized bed reactor has been developed using X-ray computed tomography (CT) scans. This paper presents an image analysis procedure that can be used to quantify and characterize the local mixing and segregation in a 3D fluidized bed.

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