Process Engineering
Advanced Research Lab


Bubble column Units

Co-Current Upward Bubble Column

This bubble column has been made of Plexiglass and is mainly used to study the hydrodynamic aspects of bubble columns operating with different liquid phases ranging from low-viscous Newtonian liquids to viscoelastic liquids with different rheological properties. The gas phase is oil-free compressed air and is injected into the column through a perforated plate distributor with 94 holes that are 1mm in diameter in order to provide uniform distribution. The superficial gas velocity varies from very low velocities up to 0.30 (m/s) covering both homogeneous and heterogeneous flow regimes.

Main specifications
Operating temperature: ambient temperature
Operating pressure: atmospheric
Dimensions: 0.292m in diameter and 2.7m in height
Location: A-565

High-Pressure/High-Temperature Multiphase Flow Unit

The high-pressure/high-temperature stainless steel bubble column reactor is mainly used to investigate the hydrodynamic aspects of bubble columns at high-pressure and/or high-temperature operating conditions that are the most relevant operating conditions in industrial plants. The air is compressed up to 3 MPa by using two compressors and is stored in two high-pressure gas cylinders. The column can be heated up to 300 °C by using two different heating elements. The gas phase is fed into the bottom of the column via a perforated plate gas distributor. The whole system is controlled automatically by a PLC control unit.

Main specifications
Temperature range: up to 300 °C
Pressure range: up to 3 MPa
Dimensions: 0.152m in diameter and 4.8m in diameter
Location: A-565

Fluidized-bed Units

Fluidized Bed Microwave Heating Reactor

This unique fluidized bed microwave heating reactor is mainly applicable for partial oxidation and dry reforming of hydrocarbons. Furthermore, thermochemical conversion processes such as pyrolysis and gasification of biomass is also possible. The high power capacity of this setup is suitable for studying the microwave heating rate of different dielectric material.

Main specifications
Temperature range: up to 1200 °C
Pressure range: atmospheric
Power: 0 – 5 KW
Location: A-660.2.1

Fluidized Bed Thermogravimetric Analyzer

The newly developed fluidized bed thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) is the first equipment that combines both the fluidization and the weight measurement of the sample. The standard fluidized bed TGA can be used for studying kinetics and mechanism of gas-solid reactions, i.e. pyrolysis, combustion and gasification. The reactor can be fed by a wide range of solid samples, including solid fuels, biomass and solid waste. With different particle size and shapes, 5 g of the solid sample can be fluidized with different gas medium in the quartz reactor.

Main specifications
Temperature range: from 25 to 1200 °C
Pressure range: 1 atm
Heating rate: up to 50°C/min
Location: A-560

Induction Heating Fluidized Bed Reactor (IHFBR) Setup

There are two IHFBR setups that were designed and developed at PEARL.

Induction heating mechanism helps provide the required heat very fast while heat transfer coefficient in the fluidized bed is similar to that in large-scale reactors.

The IHFBR is an ideal setup to carry out extremely high temperature catalytic and non catalytic screening tests (Steam/dry reforming, gasification, co-combustion, pyrolysis, FCC, thermal cracking, …).

With unique operation of its lift tube, the IHFBR mimmicks feeding a solid feedstock (coal, biomass, waste, minerals, …) in industrial fluidized bed reactors.

Particle size distribution of the powders can range from nano-scale to micro-scale depending on the application.

Being connected to a multi-gas FTIR and a microGC, online gas analysis is easily performed.

The IHFBR is an excellent setup for high temperature hydrodynamic studies such as early prediction of defluidization state in fluidized bed reactors.

Reference: Latifi et al.; AIChE Journal, 2015. 61(5): p. 1507-1523

Main specifications
Temperature range: up to 1500 °C
Pressure range: Atmospheric
Heating rate: 50 °C/second to 5 °C/min
Diameter: 2.54 cm
Material: Alumina tube
Heating elements: Platinum rods
Location: A660.2

Plexiglass Fluidized Bed Test Unit

This Plexiglas and PVC fluidized bed is used for hydrodynamic tests when visual observation of the solids motion is required. It is also a flexible facility that can be modified to suit the needs of the investigation. The unit is equipped with two internal cyclones, in series, and a hepa filter installed on the effluent gas to efficiently recover the entrained particles. The facility is presently being adopted to develop instrumentation and to conduct tests on the influence of interparticle forces on gas-solid fluidization behavior and mixing/segregation of particles in bubbling and turbulent fluidized beds.

Main specifications
Temperature range: ambient temperature
Pressure range: Atmospheric
Dimension: diameter is 0.15m and height is 3.2m
Location: A-531

High Temperature Fluidized Bed Test Unit #1

This high temperature test unit is a stainless steel refractory lined column that is capable of operating at 1050°C. It consists of a windbox with a lateral natural gas burner/air entry and an external cyclone to recover the entrained particles. Air is supplied to the bed through a stainless steel bubble cap distributor plate. This unit has been widely adopted to perform different hydrodynamic and reaction tests since it is extensively instrumented with different measurement instruments, i.e., thermocouples, pressure transducers, GC, FTIR, etc.

Main specifications
Temperature range: up to 1050°C
Pressure range: Atmospheric
Dimension: Fluidizing/reaction section: diameter is 0.20m and height is 1.0m
Dimension: Expansion section: diameter is 0.60m and height is 0.50m
Location: A-660.2

High Temperature Fluidized Bed Test Unit #2

This high temperature test unit is a stainless steel fluidized bed surrounded by a ceramic-shell furnace that is capable of operation at 850°C. Air, steam, or nitrogen can be employed as the fluidizing gas in this unit. The test unit is well equipped with thermocouples, pressure transducers, and gas concentration instruments, thus has been extensively adopted for different hydrodynamic and reaction tests.

Main specifications
Temperature range: up to 850°C
Pressure range: Atmospheric
Dimension: Fluidizing/reaction section: diameter is 0.078m and height is 0.75m
Dimension: Expansion section: diameter is 0.15m and height is 0.90m
Location: A-660.2

High Pressure/High Temperature Fluidized Bed Test Unit

This fluidized bed is a unique pilot scale research unit in the world that is capable of investigating the effects of operating temperature and pressure on fluidization behavior. The unit can operate at varying pressures and temperatures in the range of 1–20 bar and 25–900oC, respectively. The superficial gas velocity can vary to cover the fixed bed state, bubbling, and turbulent fluidization regimes. The unit consists of a windbox with a lateral electrical heater/air entry and an internal cyclone coupled with a high temperature ceramic filter to recover the entrained particles. Air, as supplied from two compressors, is used as the fluidizing medium. This facility is extensively instrumented with many thermocouples and different types of pressure transducers.

Main specifications
Temperature range: up to 900°C
Pressure range: up to 20 bar
Dimension: Fluidizing section: diameter is 0.15m and height is 2.0m
Dimension: Expansion section: diameter is 0.50m and height is 2.0m
Location: A-565


Co-Combustion Reactor

This unique reactor, developed in-house, is mainly used to reproduce the temperature (up to 1500°C), concentration and contact mode between gas and particles typical of large-scale pulverized coal boiler. Ports along the whole reactor height allow the measurement of the temperature gradient, the pressure in the reactor as well as the sampling of gas and solids. This reactor, connected both to a natural gas burner and a solid volumetric feeder, can be used to test a large variety of solid feedstock (e.g. coal, waste, biomass and their blends), for a large range of temperature and oxygen levels. Furthermore, with the addition of a distributor, the reactor could be used as a circulating fluidized bed reactor.

Main specifications
Temperature range: up to 1500°C
Pressure range: atmospheric
Dimensions: diameter is 5.08cm and height is 4.5m
Location: A-565