Gas-solid multiphase flows are commonly used in chemical processing, petroleum fluid catalytic cracking, and other industrial applications. The distribution of the solid phase in gas-solid flows (generally in the form of small particles) is seldom uniform, but more commonly involves clusters, streamers, and core-annular distributions, depending on the flow orientation and the overall gas and solid flowrates and their ratio. For this reason, tomographic techniques are of great interest for measurement of cross-sectional solids distributions in such flows. The cross-sectional profiles of solids loading can be integrated to yield a cross-sectionally averaged solids loading. Determination of this averaged solids loading is needed to understand the axial variations of solids loading and its sensitivity to flow parameters and to optimize performance. A common technique for determining volume-averaged solids loading in vertical flows like the riser section of a circulating fluidized bed (CFB) is by measurement of the time-averaged axial pressure gradients along the riser axis (differential pressure or ΔP method). Neglecting acceleration and wall friction, the axial momentum balance simplifies to equate the multiphase hydrostatic pressure term with the pressure gradient along the axis. Many authors (e.g., Louge and Chang, 1990) have pointed out the neglected terms in this approach and generally show that ΔP is applicable in the special cases of no solids-loading gradient (fully developed flow) or small solids flux. A more generally applicable technique for measuring solids loading in gas-solid flows is gamma tomography. A gamma tomography system using a 100-mCi Cs-137 source collimated into a fan beam and an array of scintillation detectors, has been developed and implemented for application to a cold-flow (non-reacting) CFB. The CFB has a 14-cm-ID 6-m tall riser, and is currently operated with a multiphase mixture of air and fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalyst particles. Typical operating conditions include mean superficial gas velocities up to 7.4 m/s and solids fluxes up to approximately 100 kg/ms. Quantitative comparison of gamma- and ΔP-determined solids loadings was made over a range of operating conditions (combination of superficial gas velocity and solids flux). Results indicate that the differences between gamma and ΔP-determined cross-sectionally averaged solids loading are most pronounced near the base of the riser, where solids concentration is highest and the mixture is accelerating. Higher in the riser, the agreement is better. Additionally, the difference is larger in cases of higher superficial gas velocity. In addition, several studies were performed to design an electrical-impedance tomography (EIT) system for a gas-solid flow to collect data suitable for validating computational models. A two-electrode bulk impedance system was studied experimentally. The required accuracy, spatial resolution and temporal resolution of an EIT system are addressed, and modeling and reconstruction are discussed. Bulk solid volume fractions measured by the two-electrode system and by gamma-densitometry tomography are in general agreement. Experiments with the two-electrode system also show that the Maxwell-Hewitt relation, used to convert the mixture impedance to solid volume fraction, must be applied carefully, paying attention to the identity of the dispersed and continuous phases. The design of a 16-electrode system is also described.

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