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# Fluid Flow Through Packed Bed

Introduction :The flow of fluids through beds composed of stationary granular particles is
a frequent occurrence in the chemical industry and therefore expressions are
needed to predict pressure drop across beds due to the resistance caused by the
presence of the particles. For example, in fixed bed catalytic reactors and drying
columns containing silica gel or molecular sieves, gases are passed through a bed
of particles.
The resistance to the flow of a fluid through the voids in a bed of solids is
the resultant of the total drag of all the particles in a bed. Depending on the
Reynolds number, DpG0/, laminar flow, turbulent flow, form drag, separation, and
wake formation occur. As in the drag of a single solid particle, there is no sharp
transition between laminar and turbulent flow like that occurring in flow through
conduits of cross section. The most common methods of correlating total pressure
drop through a bed of solids to the drag of the individual particles are based ob
estimates of the total drag of the fluid on the solid boundaries of the tortuous
channels through the bed particles.

## Object of the Experiment:

Objective of the experiment is to check whether the experimentally obtained data
fits to the following equations at the following conditions:

a) Ergun Equation:
fP = [(1/ReP).150(1-)/s] + 1.75; (for 1<ReP<1000)
b) Kozeny-Carman Equation:
fP = [(1/ReP).150(1-)/s]; (for ReP<1)
c) Blake-Plummer Equation:
fP = 1.75;
(for ReP>1000).
(Where ReP=particle Reynolds number=voDp/)

## SCHEMATIC OF EXPERIMENTAL SETUP

Mathematical Theory:
For fluid flow through packed bed, the friction factor, fP and particle Reynolds
number Rep are defined as:

## fP = [P/(V02)].(DP/L).s.3/(1-) ------------------------ (a)

ReP = DPV0/ ----------------------- (b)
Where,
P = Pressure drop across the packed bed of length L.
= Density of the fluid.
= Viscosity of the fluid.
V0 = Superficial or empty-tower velocity.
DP = Equivalent particle diameter (of bed particles)
s = Sphericity of the bed particles.
= Bed porosity or void fraction.
Where,

## Equivalent diameter DP is defined as the dia of an imaginary sphere having same

volume as the particle, so that particle volume vp = (/6)DP3.
Sphericity s is defined as the ratio of surface area of the equivalent sphere (i.e. of
dia DP) to actual particle surface area, sP.
Porosity is the ratio: [Void volume/ total bed volume];

## Superficial velocity V0 = V; where V = actual average linear velocity.

Now, the actual channels are irregular in shape, have a variable cross
section and orientation, and are highly interconnected. To calculate an equivalent
channel diameter, it is assumed that the bed has a set of uniform circular channels
whose total surface area and the void volume match that of the bed. The total
surface is the surface area per particle times the number of particles, but it is more
convenient to base the calculations on volume fraction particles in the bed and the
surface-volume ratio for the particles. This ratio is 6/Dp for a sphere, since sp=
Dp2 and vp = 1/6Dp3. For other shapes or irregular particles, the equation for
surface-volume ratio includes a sphericity s, defined as the surface-volume ratio
for a sphere of diameter Dp divided by the surface-volume ratio for the particle
whose nominal size is Dp. Thus

s= (6/Dp) / (sp/vp)
Or,
sp /vp= (6/sDp)

## Brief discussions on the equations to be verified :

ERGUN Equation:
It is the most general correlation between f p and (1/Rep) for flow through
packed bed. The main contribution to the pressure drop, due to flow of fluid through
packed bed, occurs due to the kinetic losses caused by changes in channel cross
section and flow direction. As the fluid passes between particles, the channel
becomes smaller and then larger, and the maximum velocity is much greater than
the average velocity. Since the channel area changes rapidly, most of the kinetic
energy of the fluid is lost and this loss is repeated at each layer.
An equation covering the entire range of flow rates can be obtained by assuming
that the viscous losses and the kinetic energy losses are additive. The result is
called the

ERGUN equation:
fp= [(1/Rep)150(1-)/s]+1.75

This equation fitted data for spheres, cylinders, and crushed solids over a wide
range of flow rates.

KOZENY-CARMAN Equation:
For low Rep values, the first term on the RHS of the ERGUN equation is >>1.75, so
that the term 1.75 may be neglected, and the resulting equation is called the
KOZENY-CARMAN equation. This is applicable for flow through beds at particle
Reynolds numbers up to 1.0. There is no sharp transition to turbulent flow at this
Reynolds number, but the frequent changes in shape and the direction of the
channels in the bed lead to significant kinetic energy losses at higher Reynolds
numbers. For a given system, the equation:

fp = [(1/Rep)150(1-)/s]
indicates that the flow is proportional to the pressure drop and inversely
proportional to the fluid viscosity. This statement is also known as Darcys law,
which is often used to describe flow of liquids through porous media.

BLAKE-PLUMMER Equation;

As the flow rate through a packed bed increases, the slope of the p-versus-V 0
plot gradually increases, and at very high Reynolds numbers, p varies with the 1.9
or 2.0 power of the superficial velocity. An empirical correlation for pressure drop in
packed beds at high Reynolds number (R ep > 1000) is the BLAKE-PLUMMER
equation:

p/L=[(1.75V02)/(gcsDp)][(1-)/]
Simplifying and approximating we get:

fp= 1.75
Therefore,
For low ReP values (i.e. ReP <1) the Kozeny-Carman equation is valid and the
plot of fP -vs- (1/ReP) should be a straight line passing through origin.
For intermediate ReP values (i.e. 1<ReP<1000) the Ergun equation is valid
and the plot of fP -vs- (1/ReP) should be straight line having y intercept is =
+1.75.

And for high ReP values (i.e. ReP>1000) the Blake-Plummer equation is valid
and the plot of fP -vs- (1/ReP) should be a straight line parallel to (1/ReP) axis.

Apparatus Used:
The main lab setup that was used is shown in the figure 1 above.
The additional apparatus those were used are:
1. Collecting vessel: Bucket was used for higher flow rates and measuring
cylinder of capacity 1lit was used for lower flow rates.

2. Stop Watch.

Packing Materials:
Two types of packing materials were used.

2. Raschig Ring.
DP
Do(DP) Di

## Data Sheets:Temperature of water= 300 C (assumed )

Length of the packed bed= 0.925 m
Inside Diameter of packed bed = 0.037 m
Weight of empty bucket(1)= 1.44 Kg ; Weight of empty bucket(2)= 1.54 Kg
At 300C, Viscousity Coeffecient = 8*10
Density

water

= 996 kg/m3

Ns/m2

Manometric fluid Hg
mercury = 13550 kg/m3

## FOR SPHERICAL BALL

Sl.
no.

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Manometer reading ( cm of Hg )

LHS
121
126
132
152
156
158
161
136
143

RHS
106
104
97
77
72
70
68
93
86

## Net weight Time

of water :
taken: t(s)
W (Kg)

difference
15
22
35
75
84
88
93
43
57

0.17
0.62
0.96
2.52
1.77
1.76
1.8
1.13
1.56

10
10.51
10.64
15.59
10.21
10.11
10.04
10.12
10.12

Volumetric
flowrate
(m3/s)

0.00001707
0.00005923
0.00009059
0.00016229
0.00017406
0.00017478
0.00018000
0.00011211
0.00015477

Where,
Total weight ( in Kg ) weight of empty bucket( in Kg ) = net weight of water ( in
Kg )
Volumetric flow rate of water (m3 / sec) = W / ( t*

water

## Determination of diameter of spherical ball.

No. of observations
1.
2.
3.
4.

1.5
1.7
1.6
1.7

1.625

## FOR RASCHIG RINGS

Sl.
no.

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Manometer reading ( cm of Hg )

LHS
120
123
134
137
143
147
149

RHS
108
104
96
93
88
83
80

difference
12
19
38
44
55
64
69

Net mass
of water
(Kg)

Time taken
(s)

Volumetric
flowrate
(m3/s)

0.62
0.98
1.89
2.01
2.43
2.67
2.84

9.98
9.96
10.21
9.83
9.94
10.23
10.21

0.00006237
0.00009879
0.00018586
0.00020529
0.00024545
0.00026205
0.00027928

No. of
observation
s

1.
2.
3.
4.

Length
of
Raschi
g Ring
(cm)
1.7
1.5
1.7
1.7

Mean
Length
(cm)
L

Outer
diameter
(cm)

Mean
Outer
Diameter
(cm)

Inner
Diameter(cm
)

D0

1.65

1.5
1.4
1.6
1.6

1.525

D1

1.1
1.0
1.11
1.1

TOTAL VOLUME OF
BED(empty)(m3)

0.00117

RASCHIG RING(m3)

0.00089

Mean
Inner
Diamete
r (cm)

## VOID VOLUME FOR

SPHERICAL BALL(m3)

0.00056

1.0775

## DATA FOR Dp AND s :

Material

Dp
L
L= D0

Sphere
Raschig Ring

s
1.0
0.58(for D1/ D0=0.5)
0.33(for D1 / D0=0.75)

m2

## FOR SPHERICAL BALLS

= 0.00056 / 0.00117 = 0.4786
s=1

Volumetric
flow rate of
water (m3 /
sec) ( Q )

Superficial
Velocity
V0 = v
(m/sec)

Manometer
( in m )
h

0.00001707

Actual
average
linear
velocity)
v = Q/A
(m/sec)
0.0159

Pressure
drop
p= h ( Hg
- water )*g

0.0076

0.015

(in Pa)
1847.321

0.00005923
0.00009059
0.00016229
0.00017406
0.00017478
0.00018000
0.00011211
0.00015477

0.0551
0.08429
0.1510
0.1619
0.1626
0.1675
0.1043
0.1440

0.0264
0.0403
0.0723
0.0775
0.0778
0.0802
0.0499
0.0689

0.022
0.035
0.075
0.084
0.088
0.093
0.043
0.057

2709.404
4310.416
9236.606
10345
10837.62
11453.39
5295.654
7019.82

Friction
Factor,
fp

Particle
Reynolds
Number,
Rep

118.607
9
14.4166
9.8425
6.5529
6.3874
6.6401
6.6036
7.8871
5.4839

153.7575

0.006504

534.105
815.3194
1462.719
1567.922
1573.991
1622.546
1009.539
1393.933

0.001872
0.001227
0.000684
0.000638
0.000635
0.000616
0.000991
0.000717

1/Rep

## FOR RASCHIG RINGS

Porosity ( ) = 0.00089/0.00117 = 0.7607
s= 0.33 ( since, D1/D0 = 0.71 )
Here since L

raschig

Volumetric
flow rate of
water (m3 /
sec) ( Q )

Superficial
Velocity
V0 = v
(m/sec)

0.00006237

Actual
average
linear
velocity)
v = Q/A
(m/sec)
0.0580

Manometer
( in m )
h

0.0441

0.012

0.00009879

0.0919

0.0699

0.00018586

0.1729

0.00020529

Pressure drop
p= h ( Hg
- water )*g

Friction
Factor,
fp

Particle
Reynolds
Number,
Rep

1477.857

7.9484

871.6089

0.019

2339.94

5.0093

1381.53

0.1316

0.038

4679.88

2.8265

2600.992

0.1910

0.1453

0.044

5418.809

2.6847

2871.764

0.00024545

0.2285

0.1737

0.055

6773.511

2.3482

3433.072

0.00026205

0.2438

0.1855

0.064

7881.903

2.3959

3666.292

0.00027928

0.2599

0.1977

0.069

8497.677

2.2741

3907.417

1 / Rep

(in Pa)
0.00114
7
0.00072
4
0.00038
4
0.00034
8
0.00029
1
0.00027
3
0.00025
6