Particle motion in L-valve as observed by positron emission particle tracking

CW Chan, J Seville, Xianfeng Fan, J Baeyens

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25 Citations (Scopus)


L-valves are widely used in circulating fluidized beds (CFB) to control the solid circulation rate. Positron emission particle tracking (PEPT) is used to view and study the real-time particle motion in the L-valve. The paper presents experimental results of the solid motion and solid flux in the L-valve, G, as a function of the superficial injection air velocity, U. Results are compared with earlier work. The size of the L-valve is 4.5 cm I.D. Two different experimental configurations (L-valve discharge in a CFB riser and free discharge) were used. The L-valve flow regime is stable until approximately 6 U/U-mf, with proportionality between solid flux and U/U-mf. At a higher U/U-mf,unsteady fluctuations in the solid flow gradually increase due to cavity formation around the L-valve elbow. Increasing the air flow even further, a maximum flow is reached, corresponding to the maximum discharge rate through the cyclone or hopper apex. PEPT has also confirmed the existence of a dune flow. For the first time, it gives quantitative data of the velocity profile of the dune flow which is governed by two important factors. The first factor is the distance of solids from the base of the L-valve, with solid velocity increasing away from the base. The second factor is the location of solids with respect to the dune, i.e. solid velocity is minimum at the base of the dunes and maximum at the top of the duties. The average voidage in the L-valve is approximately constant and independent of U. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V.. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-149
Number of pages13
JournalPowder Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2009


  • Positron tracking
  • Dune flow
  • Positron emission particle tracking (PEPT)
  • L-valve
  • Circulating fluidised bed
  • Tracer


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