Particle-wall contact behavior of the solids in a gas-solid fluidized bed was experimentally studied using the radioactive particle tracking (RPT) technique in which the position of a radioactive tracer is monitored when moving freely in the bed. The solids were sand particles, fluidized by air at room temperature and atmospheric pressure at various superficial velocities, covering both bubbling and turbulent regimes of fluidization. The motion of individual particles near the wall of the bed was studied based on the position of the tracer. The contact time, contact distance and contact frequency of the particles at the wall were evaluated. It was found that the distribution functions of these three parameters become wider by increasing the superficial gas velocity. Axial profiles of contact time and contact distance were also studied in this work. Axial profiles of the overall heat transfer coefficient in the fluidized bed were estimated based on the formulas reported in the literature and the experimental particle-wall contact time evaluated in the present study. Based on such profiles, in order to benefit from the maximum heat transfer coefficient along the bed, it is recommended to place the heat exchanging surface in the middle of the bed, i.e., not very close to the gas distributor as well as far from the top of the dense bed.
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