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Experimental Study on the Effective Particle Diameter of a Packed Bed with Non-Spherical Particles


An experimental study is conducted to determine the characteristics of frictional pressure drops of fluid flow in porous beds packed with non-spherical particles. The objective is to examine the applicability of the Ergun equation to flow resistance assessment for packed beds with non-spherical particles. The experiments are carried out on the POMECOFL facility at KTH. Hollow spheres and cylinders are used to pack the beds. Either water or air is chosen as the working fluid. The experimental data show that the Ergun equation is applicable to all the test beds if the effective particle diameter used in the equation is chosen as the equivalent diameter of the particles, which is the product of Sauter mean diameter and shape factor of the particles in each bed.

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A, B, C :


A p :

Surface area of particle, m2

A sp :

Surface area of the equivalent-volume sphere, m2

d :

Particle diameter, m

d e :

Effective diameter, m

d eq :

Equivalent diameter of non-spherical particles, m

d p :

Particle diameter, m

d sd :

Sauter mean diameter, m

d vs :

Volume-surface mean diameter, m

d t :

Tube diameter, m

J :

Superficial fluid velocity, m/s

K :


L :

Beds length, m

M :

Mass of particles, kg

ΔP :

Pressure drop, kPa

S V :

Specific surface area of particles, m−1

V p :

Volume of particles, m3

V 0 :

Total volume of the porous bed occupied, m3


Wadell’s sphericity

\({\varepsilon}\) :

Porosity of the porous beds

η :


μ :

Dynamic viscosity of fluid, N S/m2

ρ :

Density, kg/m3


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Correspondence to Liangxing Li.

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Li, L., Ma, W. Experimental Study on the Effective Particle Diameter of a Packed Bed with Non-Spherical Particles. Transp Porous Med 89, 35–48 (2011).

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  • Porous media
  • Non-spherical particles
  • Frictional pressure drop
  • Equivalent diameter