Investigation of flow boiling in circulating three-phase fluidised bed: Part I: Experiments and results

M. Arumemi-Ikhide, Khellil Sefiane, Gail Duursma, D. Glass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In flow boiling apparatus, fouling is frequently a problem. Mechanical methods to mitigate fouling include the impact of solids on the deposit to remove it. Solid particles fluidised by the two-phase boiling mixture may accomplish sufficient deposit removal to keep boiling surfaces clean. This results in a self-cleaning fluidised bed boiling heat exchanger. The particles additionally enhance the heat transfer. In this paper, a comprehensive investigation of three-phase fluidised flow boiling in a circulating system is presented. A test apparatus which is a three-phase circulating fluidised bed was built with glass construction to visualise boiling phenomena in a water system. It could also be operated as a two-phase system and this was investigated to provide the basis for comparison and also to verify reproducibility and confirm well-established flow boiling results. For the three-phase system (where steel particles were added), a range of liquid flowrates and heat fluxes was used and three different particle sizes were investigated. Three-phase results were compared with two-phase results. This work is primarily a study of boiling heat transfer enhancement as a result of addition of particles, but the effect of the particles creating a self-cleaning heat exchanger is a significant operational advantage for industrial application.

As expected, heat transfer coefficients were higher overall for the three-phase system than for the two-phase system. The onset of nucleate boiling was independent of heat flux and the heat transfer coefficient initially increased with increasing Reynolds number whereafter there was some deterioration of heat transfer. Visualisation of boiling heat transfer phenomena for the three-phase system is also provided which allows mechanistic explanations of the measured phenomena.

In Part II of this paper, a correlation is developed, based on boiling heat transfer modelling, to describe heat transfer during boiling in a three-phase circulating fluidised bed. A flow-dependent function is added as is a boiling heat transfer enhancement factor. This correlation is validated against this experimental data and found to show agreement within about 20% and better agreement with the data than an existing correlation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881-895
Number of pages15
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Boiling heat transfer
  • Heat transfer in three-phase fluidised bed
  • Circulating three-phase fluidised bed
  • Flow visualisation


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