CFD analysis of a fluidized bed reactor for industrial application

Anna Vaccari, Michele Pinelli, Luca Pirani
University of Ferrara

The fluidized bed reactors are widely used in the chemical, mining and pharmaceutical industries and energy applications because of the low pressure drop, the uniform distribution of temperature and of high-speed mass transfer of energy and speed. Fluidization behavior depends on the reactor geometry and internals as well as the particle size distribution and physical properties of the powder.
This paper presents a 3D fluid dynamic simulation of a fluid bed reactor for the pharmaceutical processing of powder, such as mixing, granulation and drying. Firstly, sensitivity analyses based on a literature test-case were performed, for the validation of the computational model and the development of the additional components required for the simulation of the real fluid bed reactor. Then an URANS 3D simulation of a modular fluid bed reactor, product of IMA S.p.A. Active Division, was performed to evaluate the velocity field and particle distribution of the powder involved in the mixing process.