Continuum Modeling of Slightly Wet Fluidization with Electrical Capacitance Tomograph Validation

Yassir T. Makkawi*, Xi Yu, Raffaella Ocone, Sotos Generalis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gas–solid fluidized bed reactors are widely used in the power generation industry. The critical effect of the presence of liquid phase, either as a result of heat, chemical reaction or physical interaction, on the hydrodynamics of the reactor is well recognized by academic researchers and industrial operators. However, theory and simulation frameworks to predict such a condition using the continuum modeling approach are not yet available. This study first shows the significant changes in the flow pattern and distinguishable flow regimes in a slightly wet fluidized bed recorded by an
advanced imaging technique. The study then describes the development and implementation of new mathematical formulations for wet particle-particle interactions in a continuum model based on the classic kinetic theory of granular flow (KTGF). Quantitative validation, carried out by comparing
the predicted and measured fluidization index (FI) expressed in terms of pressure drop, has shown a good match. The prediction also demonstrates increased bubble splitting, gas channeling, slugging fluidization, and energy dissipation induced by liquid bridges developing from wet particle interactions. These characteristics are similar to those commonly observed in the fluidization of cohesive powders. This model constitutes an important step in extending the continuum theories of dry flow to wet particle-particle interactions. This will allow accurate description and simulation of the fluidized bed in its widest application including power generation systems that involve wet particle fluidization.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2656
Number of pages20
Issue number11
Early online date30 May 2024
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2024 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and
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Data Access Statement

Data are available upon request.


  • fluidized bed reactor
  • granular flows
  • numerical simulation
  • wet particulate


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