Bernal Institute Research Forum

Date: 22nd September 2017 to 22nd September 2017





One hour


MSG-025 MSSI Building Extension

Dr Barry Fitzgerald, Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, Technical University of Delft (TU Delft), Netherlands.

Multi-scale Simulation of Non-spherical Particles in Fluidized Bed Reactors.

Biomass fuels can be derived from the processing of biomass particles in industrial apparatus such as fluidized bed reactors. Given the upsurge in the demand for biomass energy, predicting the response of dense gas-solid flows in fluidized bed reactors using computer models is crucial for both reactor design and the determination of optimal operating conditions. Historically in models biomass particles have been approximated as spheres due to ease of implementation. However, in reality, biomass particles are non-spherical, and realizing such particles in simulations gives rise to a number of issues. For example, in the case of spheres, the most relevant hydrodynamic force due to interaction with the interstitial fluid is drag. On the other hand non-spherical particles are also subject to aerodynamic lift and torque due to the varying orientation of a particle relative to the flow. To accurately model multiphase flows containing non-spherical particles relevant to the industrial scale where flow structures can extend over the orders of metres, we require information on the particle scale, where the typical size is of the order of millimetres. Due to this separation of length scales, it is impossible to numerically capture both the particle and industrial scale simultaneously without sacrificing computational efficiency. Thus, we need an approach that provides a better understanding of particle dynamics and access to stress fields at the particle scale that are relevant for industrial processes. A single numerical approach will not satisfy these conditions and thus a multi-scale approach is necessary. In this presentation, a multi-scale simulation approach for non-spherical particles in fluidized bed reactors currently under development at TU Delft will be introduced and current results from the study presented.

Barry Fitzgerald is a research scientist based in the Process & Energy department in the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering (3mE) at the Technical University of Delft (TU Delft), the Netherlands. Prior to his current position, Barry obtained a PhD in Computational Physics at the University of Limerick (UL) in 2011 under the supervision of Dr David Corcoran and Dr Ian Clancy after which he worked as a Research Projects Officer in Physical Sciences at NCE-MSTL (now EPI-STEM) at UL. In February 2012 he moved to the University of Twente in Enschede, the Netherlands where he worked with Professor Wim Briels on the simulation of coarse-grained polymeric systems. In October 2014 Barry moved to the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) where he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Multi-Scale Modelling of Multi-Phase Flows Group in collaboration with Professor Hans Kuipers and Dr Johan Padding, and in the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems in collaboration with Professor Rutger van Santen. He is in current position at TU Delft since September 2016. His research is primarily focused on the simulation of discrete particle systems ranging from the microscopic to the macroscopic scale. Examples of his research interests include non-spherical particles in fluidized bed reactors, fluid flows in the vicinity of bluff obstacles, the rheology of polymeric systems, sheared granular materials, collective motion in biological systems and jamming in soft matter systems. In addition to being a researcher, Barry is also active in the area of scientific communication and public outreach. He has given hundreds of scientific talks in Ireland and the Netherlands at schools, universities, and public events such as Dutch Comic Con, Xmas Comic Con, Science Week Ireland, the Galway International Arts Festival, Delft International Festival of Technology and Studium Generale. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief of the open access journal “Superhero Science and Technology”. In March 2016 Barry self-published his first book “Secrets of Superhero Science” in which he describes the fundamental science and advanced scientific research that could yield superpowers in the future. He has also written a book about the science behind Santa Claus entitled “Secret Science of Santa Claus” published in October 2016.

ALL ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND Tea/coffee will be available at 10h45.
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