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Partic. vol. 34 pp. 134-146 (October 2017)
doi: 10.1016/j.partic.2017.02.003

Experimental study and modeling of particle drying in a continuously-operated horizontal fluidized bed

Kaicheng Chena, *, Philipp Bachmanna, Andreas Bücka, Michael Jacobb, Evangelos Tsotsasa

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    • Particle residence time and residual moisture content distributions were measured. • A two-dimensional horizontal fluidized bed drying model was proposed. • Parametric studies of product status under different operation conditions were conducted.


Multistage fluidized beds are frequently used for product drying in industry. One advantage of these fluidized beds is that they can achieve a high throughput, when operated continuously. In this study, γ-Al2O3 particles were dried in a pilot-scale horizontal fluidized bed, without considering any comminution effects. For each experiment, the particle moisture content distribution and residence time distribution were determined. To take into account particle back mixing in our experiments, a one-dimensional population balance model that considers particle residence time was introduced into a fluidized bed-drying model. Experimental particle residence time distributions were reproduced using a tank-in-series model. Subsequently, the moisture content distribution was implemented, as a second dimension to the population balance in this model. These two-dimensional simulations were able to describe the experimental data, especially the spread in the residual particle moisture distribution, much more accurately than one-dimensional simulations. Using this novel two-dimensional model, the effects of different operating parameters (process gas temperature, solid feed rate, superficial air velocity) on the particle moisture content distribution were systematically studied.

Graphical abstract


Continuous drying; Horizontal fluidized bed; Residence time distribution; Moisture content distribution; Population balance