COMSOL Multiphysics® Simulation of 3D Single-Phase Transport in a Random Packed Bed of Spheres

A. Dixon[1]
[1]Department of Chemical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA, USA
Published in 2014

Packed beds are important in the chemical industries. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can simulate detailed flow and scalar transport in packed beds for improved understanding and quantitative information. We present simulations of single-phase gas flow, conjugate heat transfer and isothermal dispersion of mass in a 3D model of a randomly-packed bed (tube-to-particle diameter ratio = 5.96) of 400 spheres. Isothermal simulations were carried out in both laminar (50 ≤ Re ≤ 400) and turbulent (400 ≤ Re ≤ 5000) regimes, then extended to include conjugate heat transfer where the tube was heated from the wall. Isothermal simulations were run with a tracer source at the tube inlet to get radial dispersion of mass by lateral displacement around the packing.