Developing new high-temperature fluid-bed processes
Fluid beds have been used for high- temperature processing of powdered solids for over 40 years. The benefits of fluidization continue to make it an attractive processing technique. This article discusses current and new uses for high-temperature fluid bed processing. Also discussed is the need for adequate testing of fluid bed applications for successful scaleup; the use of contract laboratories for cost-effective process testing; and the facilities used to develop a fluid bed process.
Fluidized beds are widely used for high-temperature processing of powders and pellets. Fluid beds have been commercially used since BASF installed the Winkler reactor for coal gasification in 1926. When Standard Oil installed a fluid bed catalytic cracker at their Baton Rouge, La., plant in the early '4Os, it marked the start of a successful fluid bed application for the petroleum refindustry. That industry now accounts for some 350 fluid bed units and a daily product rate of 1,600,000 tons worldwide. Considerable development since then has made fluid beds applicable to many powder processing areas including inorganics calcination, catalyst activation and regeneration, metal powder reduction, and gas/solids reactions.