Date of Award

Summer 2004

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Robert Pfeffer

Second Advisor

Rajesh N. Dave

Third Advisor

Norman W. Loney

Abstract

Nanoparticles are the focus of many research activities, and in the near future they will be handled in large amounts by industry. Fluidization is a very important unit operation which is applied in several industrial processes.

In the present work, fluidization experiments with agglomerates of nanoparticles were done under different force fields: (1) gravity force or conventional fluidization; (2) a magnetic force field, which uses magnetic particles under the influence of a magnetic field; and (3) a centrifugal force, generated by a rotating frame that simulates higher gravity conditions.

Among the significant results with agglomerates of nanoparticles, conventional fluidization was possible by separating out large agglomerates from the bed; the movement of magnetic particles at the bottom of the fluidized bed enhanced the fluidization by increasing the bed expansion and avoiding the bypass of gas through the bed under the form of bubbles; fluidization of the agglomerates in a rotating fluidized bed was accomplished under different simulated gravity conditions, which allowed to fluidize the agglomerates under higher than normal gas flow conditions. Theoretical approaches for the estimation of the agglomerate size and the bed pressure drop were included.

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