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Published on Nov 20, 2016
Fluidized bed reactors are a promising technology for the thermo-chemical conversion of biomass in biofuel production. However, the current understanding of the behavior of the materials in a fluidized bed is limited. We are using high-fidelity simulations to better understand the mechanics of the conversion processes. This video visualizes a simulation of a periodic bed of sand fluidized by a gas stream injected at the bottom. A Lagrangian approach describes the solid phase, in which particles with a soft-sphere collision model are individually tracked along the reactor. A large-scale point-particle direct numerical simulation involving 12 millions particles and 4 million mesh points has been performed, requiring 512 cores for 4 days. The onset of fluidization is characterized by the formation of several large bubbles that rise and burst at the surface and is followed by a pseudo-steady turbulent motion showing intense bubble activity.