Validation of a novel open-source work-flow for the simulation of packed-bed reactorsReport as inadecuate

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* Corresponding author 1 Polito - Politecnico di Torino Torino 2 IFPEN - IFP Energies nouvelles

Abstract : The simulation of flow and transport in packed-bed catalytic and non-catalytic reactors is of paramount importance in the chemical industry. Different tools have been developed in the last decades and most of them relay on Discrete Element Method DEM, for generating the particle packing, and Computational Fluid Dynamics CFD, for simulating fluid flow and scalar dispersion. This work-flow presents the main drawbacks of being computationally expensive, as DEM codes are designed to describe with very high accuracy particle-fluid interactions, that very often are negligible during packing generation, of dealing with non-convex objects, such as trilobes, with cumbersome strategies, and of making use of in-house or commercial codes, that are either difficult to access or costly. In this paper a novel open-source and easily accessible work-flow based on Blender, a rigid-body simulation tool developed for computer graphics applications, and OpenFOAM, a very well-known CFD code, is presented. The approach, which presents the main advantage of being computationally fast, is validated by comparison with experimental data for global bulk porosity, local porosity distribution and pressure drop. To our knowledge this is the very first application of Blender for the simulation of packed-bed reactors.

Keywords : scalar dispersion Ergun law OpenFOAM catalytic reactor Blender packed-bed reactor

Author: Gianluca Boccardo - Frederic Augier - Yacine Haroun - Daniel Ferre - Daniele Marchisio -



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