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Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering THE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY of SINGAPORE

Chemical Engineering Process Laboratory I

SEMESTER 4

Experiment F7 Fluid Flow in Packed Bed

Name Metric No. Group

: : :

Date of Expt. : Demonstrators : signature GRADE :

Objectives: To determine the pressure drop and friction factor for fluid flowing through columns packed with different sizes of glass beads. To study the relationship between friction factor and Reynolds number for flow through packed bed.

Apparatus : A set of three horizontal glass columns packed with spherical glass beads of different sizes. Theory : Fluid flow through packed beds has many important engineering applications. Filtration, drying columns, fixed bed catalytic reactors and absorbers are some of the examples of packed beds. It is often required to estimate parameters such as pressure drop through packing and friction factor to optimally design the equipment. Analytical solutions for these parameters are difficult to obtain hence experimental correlations are needed. Fluid flow through a pipe is characterised by a dimensionless group, the Reynolds number (NRe), defined by NR e = Where dp U Diameter of the pipe [m] Average linear velocity of fluid [m s-1] Absolute viscosity of fluid [N s m-2] Density of fluid [kg m-3]
dp U

NRe has been the basis for the calculation of pressure gradient in a pipe through which a fluid is flowing and it can be used to determine the stable form of flow in a pipe in given conditions is streamline or turbulent. NRe is proportional to the ratio of non-viscous force to the viscous forces and is often used when we are concerned with a moving fluid. At low Reynolds numbers (less then about 2100) laminar flow persists with a uniform parabolic velocity profile across the tube. At high Reynolds numbers (greater than about 4000) the nature of the flow changes to a more random eddying flow called turbulent flow. At intermediate values of the Reynolds number, flow may be either laminar or turbulent. This flow regime (2100 < Re < 4000) is called the transition region. The change from transition to turbulent flow is not well defined. Different authors quote Reynolds numbers from 4000 to 10,000 for the onset of turbulent flow. When a fluid flows through a bed of particulate solids then Average Velocity Driving Pressure
1 Bed Thickness

If the flow in the bed is laminar then due to viscous drag , superficial velocity (u) which is nothing but the velocity through empty column is inversely proportional to the fluid viscosity and can be represented as u=K

Flowrate of liquid P P 1 dv = = = B Cross sec tional area of the column L A dt L

where K P L B A dv dt = Proportionality constant = Pressure drop = Length of the Bed = Permeability coefficient of the bed = Cross-sectional area of the bed = Differential Volume = Differential Time

By determining Bed Characteristics such as void fraction () , specific surface area (S), etc. NRe and the friction factor can be estimated.

From the basic definition, Reynolds Number for flow through packed bed filled with 6 spherical particles (S= ) can be written as dp NRe =

u dp
6 (1 )

The resistance to the flow of a fluid through the bed of solids is the net result of the total drag of all the particles in the bed. Depending on the NRe, friction factor , laminar /turbulent flow, form drag and wake formation will occur. Hence, friction factor () for the above system can be obtained by equating total drag force to the total pressure force. i.e. R S L (1-) = P

Where R is the drag force per unit area of particle surface. Therefore friction factor can be obtained as dp 3 P Exptl = [ ] L 6 (1 ) u 2 Ergun equation was developed attributing viscous drag force and inertial force to the total pressure drop in the bed and can be written as Ergun = 4.17 NRe-1 + 0.29

in the above equation for higher values of NRe viscous force becomes negligible and inertial forces control. According to Carman the co-relation for friction factor and Reynolds Number can be written as Carman = 5 NRe-1 + 0.4 NRe-0.1 for laminar flow, when NRe 2, the second term of the Ergun and Carman equations becomes negligible.

Experimental Procedure

This experiment investigates the relationship between the friction factor and Reynolds number of a single fluid flowing through a packed bed. Three packed beds of similar dimensions each filled with different sized beads were used. The flow rate of water through these beds were varied and the corresponding pressure drop were recorded. Measure the bulk density of three different sizes of glass beads Select the column for the experiment Calculate void fraction for the column. Adjust the control valves appropriately and commence the experiment with a water flow rate of 1 l/min. Ensure steady state is achieved before recording any readings. Note down the pressure drop across the bed from the manometer. For the given flow rate calculate Superficial Velocity (u), Reynolds Number (NRe) and Friction factor () from. a. Experimental data b. Erguns Correlation c. Carmans Correlation Adjust the control valves to the next higher flow rate and carry out the experiments to cover as wide a pressure drop difference as possible. (conduct experiments at least at 2025 different flow rates in steps of approximately 0.5 L/min.) Tabulate the results. Plot Exptl vs NRe, Ergun vs and Carman vs NRe 1 1 1 Plot Exptl vs , Ergun vs and Carman vs NR e NR e NR e Carryout similar experiments, calculations and generate similar plots for other columns.

Tabulation and Calculations:

Density of beads Void fraction of columns Reynolds Number Friction factor

Plots: For each column 1. Plot Exptl, Ergun and Carman vs NRe 2. Plot Exptl and Ergun vs 1/NRe and record the slope and intercept of these lines.

Results and Discussions:

Conclusions:

Questions:

1. Three identical columns packed with solid spheres of same size but of different materials (glass ceramics and plastic). If the liquid flows through the columns at the same velocity in highly turbulent condition, what would you expect for pressure drops in the three columns? 2. A column has to be packed by spherical catalyst particles to use as a catalytic reactor. What are the factors you would consider in selection of optimum catalyst size? 3. A column packed with a certain material gives a void fraction of 0.45. If the packing material is changed to another size, the void fraction is decreased by 10 % and the specific surface area of the bed is increased by 50%. How much change in pressure drop per unit packing height is expected if the flow is in laminar condition. (Specific surface area of the bed, SB= S(1-), where S is the specific surface area of the particle)

REFERENCES :

1. McCabe, W.L., J.C. Smith, and P. Harriott, Unit Operations of Chemical Engineering, 5th Edition, McGraw-Hill, Chapter 7 (1993). 2. Coulson, J.M., J.F. Richardson, J.R., Backhurst and J.H. Harkaer, Chemical Engineering Vol. II, 3rd Edition, Pergamon Press, Chapter 4 (1978).