Fluidized bed spray granulation is an important process for the transformation of liquids into solid materials. Especially product properties like final particle size and structure of the granules are important. These properties are closely related to the selected process parameters such as temperature and spraying rate. By knowing the relationship between the thermal process conditions and resulting particle structure, the final product can be designed according to the wishes of the consumers. In the presented work, a correlation between the thermal process conditions and the achieved shell porosity, which is relevant for the particle structure, is revealed. Therefore two experimental series with different materials (non-porous glass particles and porous alumina) were performed in a lab-scale fluidized bed spray granulator. The lab-plant allows the precise measurement of the inlet and outlet temperatures and moisture contents of the gas. All process parameters were kept constant except the inlet gas temperature and the spraying rate. Although the amount of initial material as well as the amount of injected solution was the same for all experiments, the final particle size distribution and the structure of the formed shell were clearly different. The obtained experimental results were compared with a process model including a new expression for the growth kinetics, which takes into account an acceleration of the growth velocity due to the formation of a porous structure. The used model also considers the separation of the fluidized bed into two different zones, namely the spraying zone and the drying zone. With the given initial process conditions, the model calculates the time evolution of the particle size distribution, the theoretical outlet temperature and the moisture content of the gas. The introduction of the shell porosity into the growth kinetics reduces the underestimation of the particle size in the model, which occurs if the formed layer on the particle surface is assumed to be compact.
Hoffmann, T., Rieck, C., Bück, A., Peglow, M., & Tsotsas, E. (2015). Influence of granule porosity during fluidized bed spray granulation. In Procedia Engineering (Vol. 102, pp. 458–467). Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2015.01.189