Heat transfer to a gas from densely packed beds of monodisperse spherical particles

Arpit Singhal, Schalk Cloete, Stefan Radl, Rosa Quinta Ferreira, Shahriar Amini*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Particle resolved direct numerical simulation (PR-DNS) has emerged as a promising method to improve gas-particle heat transfer closure models. To date, this method has been applied in random and regular particle assemblies at comparably high void fractions. This paper presents a new methodology for deriving heat transfer correlations from PR-DNS of very dense particle packings relevant for packed bed applications. First particle packings were generated using the discrete element method (DEM). After geometric modifications in regions of close particle-particle proximity, a fine mesh with low cell skewness was created for PR-DNS. Grid independence and the effect of the geometry modification were thoroughly investigated. It was also established that steady state simulations are accurate for PR-DNS in this case. Simulations carried out in different assemblies of ∼100 particles showed significant variation of local transfer rates, implying that it is important to specify a confidence interval when reporting correlations derived from PR-DNS. A newly developed Nusselt number correlation predicts values in the lower range of predictions from literature correlations. This implies that the use of the currently available correlations may over-predict heat transfer in densely packed beds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-37
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2017


  • Heat transfer
  • Packed bed reactors
  • caps-method
  • irect numerical simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Process Chemistry and Technology

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing
  • Mobility & Production


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