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CE20186 - Fluidisation

Charlie Lower


Abstract This experiment determines both experimentally and theoretically the key parameters required for the design of a fluidised catalytic cracker. This was achieved by obtaining theoretical and experimental values of voidage and superficial velocity at minimum fluidisation. After carrying out heat transfer and pressure drop experiments, it is found that for grade 54 aluminium oxide, theoretical and experimental values of !" are 0.544 and 0.501 respectively. Similarly, the theoretical and experimental values of !" are found to be 0.379 m s-1 and 0.285 m s-1 respectively. Experimental values are lower due to accounted errors. 1 Introduction A primary use of catalysts in the petroleum industry is in the cracking of heavy hydrocarbons from crude oil. These kinds of catalysts exist in pellet form rather than a solid ore. This allows for an increased surface area for the reaction to occur at the surface of the catalyst. Such catalysts feature metal oxide cores and may be zeolites. This experiment features a fluidised bed rather than a traditional packed bed as this better accommodates for a high throughput and a high heat transfer rate. This experiment characterises a pilot scale operation of a fluidised bed, in order to determine the design of a potential similar scale-up system. The fluidised catalytic cracker used in this experiment features two sections; the reactor and the regeneration column. Inside the reactor, the catalyst is fluidised and hosts the given reaction. However, the catalyst will inevitably become deactivated over time as a result of fouling and coking of the catalytic surface. This deactivation is minimised by the use of a regeneration column. The gas flow pattern within the apparatus ensures that the catalyst from the reactor is constantly carried over the regeneration bed for treatment before being returned the base of the reactor. The aim of this experiment is to determine both experimentally and theoretically the key parameters required for the design of a fluidised catalytic cracker. In order to achieve this, theoretical and experimental values of voidage and superficial velocity at minimum fluidisation are obtained and compared. Empirical data is found to formulate the relationship between fluidised bed and heat transfer within the bed. 2 Theory In order to determine the key parameters required for the design of a fluidised catalytic cracker, theoretical values of voidage and superficial velocity both at minimum fluidisation are calculated. These values are then compared with experimental values. The voidage at minimum fluidisation is expressed equation (2.1) taken from Perry & Green (2008); = 1 !" ! !
!! !

(2.1) (2.2)

= 1 !" ! !

However, voidage at minimum fluidisation is calculated directly from equation (2.3) taken from Perry & Green (2008);

!" = 1 !!
!

(2.3)

From obtaining numerical values of the voidage at minimum fluidisation, the superficial velocities at minimum fluidisation are calculated. Superficial velocity is expressed in the Ergun equation (2.4), taken from Perry & Green (2008); (1 !" )! !" (1 !" ) ! !" ! = 150 ! + 1.75 !" ! !" ! (2.4)

Department of Chemical Engineering

CE20186 - Fluidisation

Charlie Lower


This experiment sees the use of aluminium oxide particles in the bed, with the fluid being air at standard conditions of ambient temperature and 1 atm pressure. The theoretical values of voidage and superficial velocity at minimum fluidisation are calculated for grade 54 and 100 particles. For grade 54, voidage is calculated from equation (2.3);

!" = 1

! 1720 =1 = 0.544 ! 3770

Superficial velocity is then calculated by substituting equation (2.1) into equation (2.4) to formulate a quadratic equation in !" . For grade 54; 150 150 1 0.544
(!!!!" )! !!"
!

! !!" !!

+ 1.75

!!!!" !!"
!

!! !!" ! !

= 1 !" ! !
!

(2.5)

! 1.9810

0.544

!" 1 0.544 1.20!" + 1 . 75 = 9.8 1 0.544 3770 1.20 (3.210!! )! 0.544! 3.210!! 18588!" ! + 37462!" 16859 = 0 !" = 0.379 m s !! (2.6)

!!

Where, = 1.9810!! kg m!! s !! for the viscosity of air and ! = 1.20 km m!! for the density of air at ambient temperature and 1 atm pressure. The same methods above are used to calculate voidage and superficial velocity at minimum fluidisation for grade 100. It is found that !! = 0.586 and !" = 0.0830 m s !! . 3 Method This experiment features the operation of a Hilton Fluid Bed Heat Transfer Unit for grade 54 aluminium oxide particles. Air flow is supplied to the unit by means of a blower. Electrical energy is supplied by a variable transformer; providing a current to the heating element. The heating element is submerged in the aluminium oxide bed and has a surface area of 0.0016 m2. The fluidised bed has a cross-sectional area of 0.00866 m2 and an initial height of approximately 0.107 m. When taking pressure drop measurements, it is important to lift the thermocouples and the heating element clear of the bed. The maximum air flow rate is achieved when the bleed control valve is fully closed, similarly, minimum flow is achieved when the valve is fully open. As maximum and minimum air flow rate is established, record the pressure drop over the bed, the bed expansion and the rotameter readings. Bed expansion is calculated from averaging maximum height and minimum height observed as the bed begins to move. The rotameter readings are used to calculate air flow rate graphically with the calibration curves supplied by the manufacturer. When carrying out the heat transfer measurements, ensure the heating element is at the bottom of the bed. The thermocouple must also be submerged in the bed but positioned above the heating element. The heat transfer measurements are carried out at two different flow rates; below or close to minimum fluidisation and well above minimum fluidisation. Allow sufficient time for temperatures to stabilise after altering power input of air flow. During the heat transfer measurements, voltage, current, rotameter readings, inlet temperature thermocouple and outlet temperature thermocouple values are obtained. During both sets of experiments, behavior of the bed is also observed.

Department of Chemical Engineering

CE20186 - Fluidisation

Charlie Lower


4 Results
4 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 -2.5 -2 -1.5 -1 -0.5 0

Log Superficial Velocity [m Figure 1. Logarithmic plot of pressure drop as a function of superficial velocity. Polynomial trend-line displayed.

s-1]

4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 -2.5 -2 -1.5 -1 -0.5 0

Log Superficial Velocity [m Figure 2. Logarithmic plot of pressure drop divided by bed height as a function of superficial velocity. Polynomial trend-line displayed.

s-1]

5000 4500 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1 0.12 0.14

Heat Transfer Coefficient [W/m2 C]

10 V 30 V

0.16

Superficial Velocity [m s-1] Figure 3. Plot of heat transfer coefficient as a function of superficial velocity for voltages of 10 V and 30 V. Linear trend-lines displayed.

Department of Chemical Engineering

Log (Pressure Drop/Bed Height) [Pa m-1]


3

Log Pressure Drop [Pa]

3.5

CE20186 - Fluidisation

Charlie Lower


5 Calculations In order to construct Figure 1, Figure 2 and Figure 3, superficial velocity is calculated using equation (5.1) taken from Perry & Green (2008). Superficial velocity is a function of volumetric air flow rate as cross-sectional area remains constant. (5.1) ! = 0.0002 ! = = 0.0231 m s !! 0.00866 From observing voltage and current from the heat transfer experimental procedure, power input i.e. heat input is calculated from equation (5.2); = (5.2) = 0.15 10 = 1.5 W Once heat input is known, Figure 3 can be constructed as the heat transfer coefficient can be calculated from equation (5.3); ! = (5.3) !!! 1 .5 = = 1172 W/m! 0.0016 0.8 To calculate the experimental value of voidage at minimum fluidisation, recalling equation (2.1) and rearranging to give equation (5.4); = 1 !" ! ! (5.4) ! !" = 1 + 2030 !" = 1 + = 0.501 0.11 9.81 3770 1.20 From the known experimental value of voidage at minimum fluidisation, the experimental value of superficial velocity at minimum fluidization is calculated. Recalling the Ergun equation (2.4) and substituting !" to formulate a quadratic equation in !! ; (1 !" )! !" (1 !" ) ! !" ! = 150 + 1 . 75 !" ! ! !" ! !! ! 2030 (1 0.501) (1.9810 )!" (1 0.501) (1.20)!" ! = 150 + 1 . 75 0.11 0.501! (3.210!! )! 0.501! 3.210!! ! 26041!" + 57431!" 18455 = 0 !" = 0.285 m s !! 6 Discussion Figure 1. shows a progressive increase in pressure drop across the bed as superficial velocity increases. However, this increase is slowed at approximately -1.5 log superficial velocity as the pinnacle level of pressure drop is established as illustrated by the polynomial trend line. Extrapolation of this curve suggests a flat-line relationship suggesting a constant pressure drop across the fluidised bed with increasing superficial velocity. Between approximately -2.35 and -1.8 log superficial velocity, the plot increases linearly. This is expected, as there is no movement in the bed in this range. However, the curve begins outside this range and hence this is where the bed changes its physical appearance with bubbling and eventually spraying behavior as the constant pressure drop is reached. Figure 2. follows the general pattern of Figure 1 however after the maximum pressure drop over height is reached, there is a subtle decline expressed by the polynomial trend line. This pattern suggests that there is an optimum superficial velocity to correspond with an optimum pressure per unit of distance in the fluidised bed. The initial linear section of the plot between approximately -2.4 and -1.6 log superficial velocity indicates again that there is no movement or change in physical appearance of the bed. However, as the plot starts to curve, this corresponds to the movement of the particles and the fluidisation of the bed.
!" !! !!!

Department of Chemical Engineering

CE20186 - Fluidisation

Charlie Lower


Figure 3. illustrates how the heat transfer coefficient alters with increasing superficial velocity. It is clear that as the input supply voltage is increased, the heat transfer coefficient increases; as expected. The linear trend lines displayed differ in gradients in the sense that as input voltage is increased the gradient increases. It is feasible to believe that that the lower the input voltage, the more constant the heat transfer coefficient will be with altering superficial velocity. This is because less electric energy is to be transferred at any given point in the process. The gradients of both trend lines are negative which suggests that the plot shown is not of the relationships expected. For example, Figure 3 suggests that as superficial velocity increases, the heat transfer coefficient could arrive at zero. With any real working system, there are inevitable factors of error present that are not accounted for in an ideal system. This experiment features errors within the devices used to record data. They feature graduated increments that could show greater accuracy and hence greater sensitivity. Parallax induced errors, especially regarding the pressure drop tube as it was hard to read from the bottom of the crucible when the level was constantly fluctuating. The tubing features increments of 0.5 cmAq therefore giving potential error of 0.25 cmAq. This was also the case with the rotameters, as they were fluctuating too meaning there was not a constant air flow rate. The small and large rotameters have increments of 0.1 cm and hence potential error of 0.05 cm in readings. The electronic thermometer has increments of 1 giving error of 0.5 . The ammeter has increments of 0.05 A giving error of 0.025 A. Perhaps the most significant errors in instruments comes from the voltmeter which features 2 V increments therefore a potential error of 1 V. There is also significant errors in the method of taking readings for pressure drop and bed expansion. Two readings were taken for each stage of the experiment and an average was calculated from these readings. 7 Conclusion This experiment aimed to determine both experimentally and theoretically the key parameters required for the design of a fluidised catalytic cracker. This was achieved by obtaining theoretical and experimental values of voidage and superficial velocity at minimum fluidisation. Subsequently, it is found that for grade 54 aluminium oxide, theoretical and experimental values of !" are 0.544 and 0.501 respectively. Similarly, the theoretical and experimental values of !" are found to be 0.379 m s-1 and 0.285 m s-1 respectively. Nomenclature Cross-sectional area [m2] Diameter [m] !" Voidage at minimum fluidisation [-] Acceleration due to gravity [m s-2] Heat transfer coefficient [W/ m2 ] Current [A] Height of bed [m] Pressure drop [Pa] ! Density of fluid [kg m-3] ! ! !" ! Density of particle [kg m-3] Density of solid [kg m-3] Heat (Power) input [W] Superficial velocity min fluidisation [m s-1] Superficial velocity [m s-1] Viscosity of fluid [kg m-1 s-1] Voltage [V] Volumetric air flow rate [m3 s-1]

References Perry, R.H & Green, D.W (2008). Perry's Chemical Engineers' Handbook. 8th ed. China: McGraw Hill. c16. The Engineering Toolbox. (2010). Air Properties. Available: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/air-properties-d_156.html. Last accessed 26th Nov 2012. The Engineering Toolbox. (2010). Air Absolute Viscosity http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/air-absolute-kinematic-viscosity-d_601.html. accessed 26th Nov 2012. . Available: Last

Department of Chemical Engineering