Flow development in a gas-solids downer fluidized bed

Hui Zhang, Jing Xu Zhu, Maurice A. Bergougnou

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The development of gas and solids flow structure was studied in a 9.5 m high and 0.10 m diameter, gas-solids cocurrent downflow circulating fluidized bed (downer). Local solids concentration and particle velocity were measured using two separate optical fibre probes at different radial positions on several axial levels along the downer. The results show that the flow development is significantly influenced by the operating conditions. For most of the conditions under which the experiments were conducted, the gas-solids flow reaches its fully developed zone within 3 to 8 m away from the entrance. On the other hand, the development zone can extend as long as the downer itself, under certain conditions. When the solids circulation rate is over 100 kg/m2s, an increasing solids circulation rate largely extends the length of radial flow development. It is found that the flow developments in the core and at the wall are not quite simultaneous. For solids concentration, the core develops more quickly at low gas velocities and the wall region develops faster at high gas velocities. For particle velocity, higher gas velocity speeds up the development of the wall region but does not significantly affect the development of the core region. The wall region is much more sensitive to the change of superficial gas velocity than the core region. At high superficial gas velocities (> 7 m/s), a "semi-dead" region is observed in the fully developed zone adjacent to the wall where the dilute solids are moving at a very low velocity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-198
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Chemical Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Cocurrent downflow
  • Downer reactor
  • Flow development
  • Fluidized bed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (all)


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