Demonstrating the Effect of Interphase Mass Transfer in a Transparent Fluidized Bed Reactor


  • Jean Saayman University of Pretoria
  • Willie Nicol University of Pretoria


A demonstration experiment is described that employs the ozone decomposition reaction at ambient conditions on Fe2O3 impregnated Fluidized Catalytic Cracking (FCC) catalyst. Using a two-dimensional see-through column the importance of interphase mass transfer is clearly illustrated by the significant difference in ozone conversion between the homogeneous and bubbling fluidization regimes. The principle is enhanced by simultaneous visual observation. Analysis of the conversion measurements at different superficial velocities clearly indicates the severity of interphase mass transfer in the bubbling regime and also shows how the mass transfer effect diminishes in the turbulent regime. The paper supplies detail on the demonstration equipment and gives guidelines on student interpretation possibilities.

Author Biographies

Jean Saayman, University of Pretoria

Jean Saayman is a Ph.D. student at the University of Pretoria. He received his B.Eng. degree, as well as his M.Eng. at the same institution. His research interests are in Reaction Engineering, specifically focusing on Fluidized Bed Reactors.

Willie Nicol, University of Pretoria

Willie Nicol is a professor in chemical engineering at the University of Pretoria. He received his B.Eng. degree from the University of Pretoria and his Ph.D. from the University of the Witwatersrand. He runs the Reaction Engineering Research Group that focuses on Trickle Bed Reactors and Gas-Solid Fluidization. He has been teaching the undergraduate reactor courses in his department for more than seven years.