DEM–CFD and PBM for dynamic process simulation of fluidized bed agglomeration

Gero Stöckl

Host Institutions

Hamburg University of Technology [ 24 months ]
Process Systems Enterprise [ 12 months ]


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I am Gero Stöckl, I am from Graz, Austria. I studied Chemical and Process Engineering at Graz University of Technology during my Bachelor’s and Master’s studies. In my Master’s thesis I investigate the use of deep neural networks for heat radiation modelling in polydisperse particle systems.

I am currently working as ESR 1 on DEM–CFD and PBM for dynamic process simulation of fluidized bed agglomeration at Hamburg University of Technology and later at Siemens Process Systems Enterprise. My supervisor is Prof. Stefan Heinrich. The aim of this project to develop a dynamic flow sheet simulation that can predict agglomeration in fluidized beds across different scales. This will be achieved by performing calibrated CFD-DEM simulations to study the particle and fluid behavior in fluidized beds. The results of these studies will then be used to inform a large scale PBM model, which will be validated with a pilot-scale fluidized bed. This will allow to predict agglomeration in fluidized beds at lab- and industrial-scale accurately.

Project Description

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Fluidized beds involve mass, momentum and heat transfer as well as two-phase flow. This project aims to develop an upscaling methodology using a multi-scale particle approach with coupled DEM–CFD simulations providing detailed particle-level information to inform a large-scale PBM model of full-scale fluidized bed agglomeration.

Specific objectives are:
  1. Conduct experimental tests using a Glatt GF25 multi-chamber fluidized bed agglomerator;
  2. Perform DEM–CFD simulations to study the fluid and particle dynamics on the scale of individual particles;
  3. Develop PBM with heat/mass transfer to describe evolution of particle properties for different process configurations and operating conditions.
Expected Results:
  1. Understand the influence of the thermal process conditions on the product quality of granules;
  2. Dynamic flowsheet simulation of interconnected solids processes by continuous fluidized bed agglomeration;
  3. Predictions of fluidization regimes and the residence time distribution validated in a pilot-scale fluidized bed at Hamburg University of Technology.