Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Briens, Cedric

2nd Supervisor

Berruti, Franco.

Joint Supervisor


Liquid injection into a fluidized bed is used in industrial applications such as the Fluid CokingTM process for heavy oil thermal cracking. Poor initial liquid-solid contact results in the formation of agglomerates that limit heat and mass transfer processes, reduce the yield of valuable compounds and create operating problems. The present study develops a new experimental model to simulate the complex phenomena that occur when heavy oil is injected in a Fluid Coker through two-phase nozzles. The model is applied in a pilot scale fluidized bed using scaled-down industrial spray nozzles. The experimental results indicate that agglomerate formation slows down liquid vaporization and that process conditions, such as bed hydrodynamics and temperature, have a significant impact on agglomerate properties. The experimental results also suggest how to modify spray nozzles to improve their performance in Fluid Cokers. Important information is provided for the development of the theoretical models that are needed to better understand the effect of agglomerating phenomena on bitumen upgrading.