It is essential to better understand the multi-physics and multi-scale phenomena taking place in the reactive particulate flows found in installations of the energy and process industry.
A large number of industrial processes involve reactive flows in which a continuous fluid phase (liquid or gas) interacts with a dispersed solid phase: catalytic fluidized bed, combustion in a rotating drum, wood gasification, solid waste combustion, ... In a worldwide context of increasing energy cost and the urge for an accelerated transition to greener and renewable energy, mastering and controlling these complex processes is of major importance. In fact, an enhanced mastering of these complex flows would contribute to lower their energy consumption and environmental footprint (MORE control 4 LESS environmental footprint).
One key factor for improving the design and control of such devices is to better understand all the intricate couplings at play in these flows: hydrodynamic, chemical and thermal contributions. Capitalising the acquired improved understanding in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes would lead to a smarter design resulting from reliable flow predictions. This is a crucial scientific challenge. Available CFD codes cannot yet ensure a sufficiently reliable prediction, and often lack the capacity to exploit the unique opportunities offered by massively parallel supercomputers to apply advanced models to full-scale industrial problems.
What makes these flows very difficult to model is the large variety of different configurations that may occur depending on the particle volume fraction (from moderate to dense regime), the particle mass loading (different particle inertia), the particle size compared to the mesh size (two-way coupling and sub-grid scale concern), the nature of the particle-laden flow (non-isothermal and reactive flow). Considering the various momentum, heat and mass transfers, and their intimate coupling between phases, modelling reactive particle-laden flows remains a true challenge.